JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Volunteers are needed to help a family’s dream of owning a home come true.
The construction for the next Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity home will begin April 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 304 Ave. M. Water and lunch will be provided by St. Frederick’s Baptist Church.
The only requirements are volunteers must be at least 17 and have a willingness to give and learn.
“I’ve told people many times it’s really rewarding,” said Greg Mills, the president of Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity. “The days, hours, weeks, all the work that’s put in. But you get to that time you present keys to that family that’s worked right along beside you, and you help improve their lives. It’s very overwhelming. It’s one of the reasons I do this.”
The biggest misconception about Habitat for Humanity is that it’s a nonprofit that simply builds homes to give away. Mills said that’s not true.
Families must apply for a home and go through an interview process that includes home visits with the selection committee.
“There are income requirements,” Mills said. “We fit a very tight niche. There are a lot of people who apply for Habitat who don’t make enough money. There’s another program available for people who make too much money but don’t have enough for traditional home buying. There’s still that group of people who don’t have the opportunity or don’t know or understand (how to buy a home.)”
Mills believes the selection process is the hardest part because committee members see the needs of each family during home visits. And Habitat can only build a couple of homes each year.
Once a family is chosen, the real work begins, Mills said.
“(Family members) provide the sweat equity,” he said. “They help build someone else’s home. Then, they help build their own home. They buy the home from Habitat at zero interest.”
Those payments go into an account that Habitat officials use to purchase land and material for the next house. Family members must work on someone else’s Habitat house for a minimum of 150 hours.
Go to hlhabitat.com or call (830) 693-0700 for more information.