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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 31May00

Summarized by Jennifer Livingston

LDS Wards Aids Habitat For Humanity
(Habitat workers building futures)
Houston TX Chronicle pg1 10May00 D1
By Valerie Sweeten


HOG'S heaven
Houston TX Chronicle pg4 10May00 D1

HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Two articles recently featured stories about Habitat for Humanity projects in the Houston area. The first article discussed a community project sponsored by the LDS Church called "Hooked on Giving Service" (HOGS). This activity involved youth from Clear Lake, Alvin, Bay Brook, Friendswood, Galveston, La Marque, League City, Pearland, and South Shore. The project was held in conjunction with Private Sector Initiatives, Habitat for Humanity, and the Girls and Boys Club. Youth participated by helping to build a home for recipient Pilar Zapata.

The second article discussed Baytown resident participation in a similar project. Latter-day Saints joined many other community groups in a project to build two homes for local families. The article describes more about how Habitat for Humanity works. Those who receive homes are required to contribute 500 hours of service building other homes before they are eligible to receive their own, and are required to continue helping throughout the construction of their own home. Homeowners pay back the mortgage without interest. The homes are sold for $36,000, barring any unforeseen building costs. Those eligible to receive homes must show financial need, live in substandard housing, and have the ability to re-pay the mortgage.

Recipients are selected by a family selection committee. Every effort is made to choose families that will maintain clean yards and homes. Plans are donated by architects, and the closings are handled by lawyers who donate their services as well. Recipients are involved in the selection of many aspects of the interior and exterior of their homes, such as the carpeting, blinds, and siding. A family nurturing committee helps the families make these decisions.

Dwight Lohkamp, president of the board for the Baytown Habitat for Humanity, said the group is currently working on houses number 17 and 18. Said Lohkamp, "I think we can make a huge difference on the lives of the people we build with."


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