Habitat for Humanity homes still need funds

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2000

An affordable house to be built in Juneau by women has received a big boost from a donation. But fund-raising for that house and another one is continuing.

The Grace T. Calder Trust, based in New York City, gave $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity Greater Juneau Area for the ``First Ladies'' house. The house will be built by local women and first lady Susan Knowles is the effort's honorary chairwoman.

``We seem to be pulling a lot of women out of the community who are skilled,'' board member Joan Decker said of the search for volunteer labor. ``People who aren't skilled, like me, get directed to picking up nails or hammering where there's an X.''

Habitat for Humanity is planning to build two homes on Kanat'a Street in the Mendenhall Valley, each of which will need about $60,000 for some labor and materials. The city donated the lots, and much of the labor will be voluntary.

The three-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot homes will sell for about $60,000 and hold an interest-free mortgage, said Jon Griffin, board chairman of Habitat for Humanity in Juneau. The homeowners also will put in several hundred hours of work, called sweat equity.

``This is not a handout. It's a hand up,'' Griffin said.

The group is still soliciting applications from prospective owners. And it still needs donations of money and materials. So far the group has raised more than $30,000 for the First Ladies house and over $5,000 for the other house, Griffin said.

A fund-raising brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Elks Lodge on North Franklin Street downtown. It costs $7 for an adult or $20 for a family.

A ``Desserts First'' event will also be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Centennial Hall to raise money for the First Ladies project. It costs $30 per person.

Those interested in applying for the homes, volunteering labor or giving money should call 789-1417.

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