Habitat's First Ladies' project dedicated

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2001

JUNEAU -- Alfred Votion figures he has put 1,000 hours of sweat equity into his new house, and he's not sorry about a minute of it, he said Sunday during the official dedication of the structure.

Votion is the homeowner scheduled to move into the First Ladies Build project of Habitat for Humanity. First Lady Susan Knowles and Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer both contributed labor to the project, which has taken about 6,000 volunteer hours so far. The interior of the bright yellow home at 4550 Kanat'a Dei St. in the Mendenhall Valley is still not finished, but Votion and his son expect to move in soon.

A work party was held Saturday at the site to paint windowsills and clean up. The dedication took place at 3 p.m. Sunday, with remarks by Knowles about how Juneau's rainy climate has failed to put a damper on the project, begun in 2000. When Votion and his 10-year-old son Shawn move in, they will have a 20-year mortgage with no interest.

"I think it is important for people to realize this is not a free house," Votion said. "It is not a handout, it is a hand up."

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry launched in 1976 that builds houses all over the world, making homes affordable to families with low incomes. The First Ladies Build initiative was launched in April 1999. For more information or to volunteer, call 789-1417.

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