Summarized by Jennifer Livingston
LDS Wards Aids Habitat For Humanity
(Habitat workers building futures)
Houston TX Chronicle pg1 10May00 D1
By Valerie Sweeten
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
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."