-The Wayne County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has been working on getting its 18th home in the county set up at 347 Riverside Drive in Honesdale.
The house will soon be home to a woman and her three children in Wayne County. The local chapter partnered with Johnson College this year to build the home on the Scranton campus during the past school year.
The house was moved from Scranton to Honesdale Wednesday morning. Crane and work crews loaded the two-piece modular home onto flatbed trucks.
This fall, students will start work on not one, but two homes. One of them will be built again for Habitat for Humanity. The partnership between Johnson College and Habitat for Humanity came together at the suggestion of alumnus Dave Boniello '84, who is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Simplex Industries in Scranton. His company helped provide the materials to build the home.
"It's going well," said Mark Graziadio, treasurer of the local chapter. "We have a good group of volunteers. They are very dedicated and are pretty amazing."
He added that they even gave themselves the name Geezer Construction, since a lot of them are older. They even made hats with the name.
Graziadio said they'll be working on the house "all summer" and expect to be finished early October.
"We are trying to get the family in before winter," he stated.
He said that the family will rent the home for a year, so they can build up enough equity to pay the closing costs, one percent transfer tax and any other costs that would be included, with zero percent financing.
When it comes to finding funds, Graziadio said that one third comes from the mortgage payments for the house, one third is from fundraising and one third comes from donations and grants.
"We're fortunate that the county has seen the benefits from habitat providing housing to low income families," Graziadio stated. "The county has been very generous in allocating funds from the CDBG money, which is used mainly for the infrastructure."
The crew works full days on Thursday and Friday and half days on Saturday. Clyde Kreider is the Building Committee Chairman, Bob Bird is the Site Coordinator for the Thursday and Friday crew and Mel Rutherford is the Site Coordinator for the Saturday crew.
Page 2 of 2 - Area churches provide lunches to the crews.
"We're a faith-based organizations so it's important that we have the minesterium behind us so we can work together," Graziadio said. "Father Ed Erb from Grace Episcopal Church is on the board. We try to have at least one representative from the churches."
Graziadio said he's "real happy" that they are working with Johnson College.
"This is the first time working with them," he said. "The young people get a hands on experience and learn more about their trade, then they can use that to help others in need. They built the house to our specifications."
He said he believes the plan is to "continue the relationship" with Johnson College, but adds that they also look for "other opportunities" for groups that can also benefit from this.
Graziadio said that they will start actively looking for the next family soon.
When the land was bought on Riverside Drive there were several lots. Graziadio added that they put the lots as one and then redivided the line.
"We are hoping to put a house on the other lot next year," he said.
He also stated that there are "no paid staff" and that everyone is volunteer, from the board to the committees to the work crew.
"We are always looking for people who are willing to help," Graziadio stated. "Groups and churches that want to help are more than welcome to."
There will be a a yard and bake sale on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at the Grace Episcopal Parish Hall at 827 Church Street. This is one of the biggest fundraisers that Wayne County's Habitat for Humanity has to keep building homes.
It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.