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Habitat announces 22nd partner family


LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity’s newest partner family, Louella Cruea and her two children, Bianca and Braylin, have been making a list and checking it twice. But this is not a list for Santa.

Cruea has been working her way through the “hoops” that must be completed before the construction on her house, scheduled for April 21, begins.

After hearing about the LCHFH program from a letter that a friend’s child brought home from school, Cruea felt that her family might qualify. She completed the application process in November 2010. Her family was interviewed by LCHFH personnel and her name was submitted to the board of directors.

In February 2011, the application was approved and the family was notified that they would be partners for the organization’s 22nd home.

The next item on the list was acquiring sweat equity hours. Each family must complete 25 hours prior to the beginning of the construction process with an additional 100 hours to be finished before occupancy.

To begin meeting this requirement, Cruea joined the construction crew for house number 21, which was built in 2011 in Topeka. With no carpentry experience, Cruea found herself climbing a ladder and learning about siding a house. She also helped to build the outdoor storage shed that is part of each family’s home.

And, she looked longingly at the lot next door, where her home would be built in 2012. But first she needed more sweat equity hours. In the months to follow, she helped to prepare newsletters and mailings for auction publicity and she participated in money management classes as required for all partner families.

Finally, the beginning was in sight. One more task for the pre-construction list for the partner family remained. This is the fun part: Cruea sat down with the construction committee and made decisions regarding her home. Reality finally set in as she chose appliances, colors, and other housing details.

With more than 25 sweat equity hours behind her, and a check mark beside each item on the list, Cruea is finally feeling “very excited that my dream is finally coming true.”

The home will be financed with a long-term mortgage, and Cruea will be on the housing site Saturdays from April 21 until the home is completed. But, to the Cruea family, it almost feels like Christmas.