WHITE MILLS—Shovels split the ground on Elizabeth Street, Sunday July 14, as volunteers from Habitat for Humanity broke ground on their 22nd house.

“This is really a testament to the people who were a part of the organization for so many years,” said President Michael Rollison, noting the volunteers are all extremely dedicated in what they do.

Former president and current volunteer, Mark Graziadio stated, “We've been very fortunate. We have dedicated volunteers and a caring community...and when it all comes together, we can really do some great things.”

According to a release, Yeugene Atayan donated the property to Habitat after a fire destroyed the two-story home which stood there.

“With the generous assistance of Willy Reinfurt of Reinfurt Excavating and Dan Card of Waste Management, the charred remains were removed, and Beth Vail began designing the plans for a new home,” states the release.

With the foundation set and ready to go as of July 25, construction by the all-volunteer group is expected to begin next week.

The building will be a two-story structure with three bedrooms, a bathroom, a small yard and two parking spaces.

The prospective homeowners are also “fortunate enough to have a beautiful view of White Mills,” said Rollison.

The goal is to have the whole house under roof by winter and finished up in the spring, said Graziadio.

Rollison hopes to have the house dedicated by summer 2020.

Once completed, the house will be ready for a partner family to inhabit it.

Habitat is currently seeking applications for partner families to move into the house, located in the Wallenpaupack Area School district, after construction is completed.

According to Habitat's website, basic criteria for partner families include a need for decent housing, a steady income and the ability for the hopeful homeowners, and/or their friends and their family to donate at least 300 “Sweat Equity” hours to the organization.

These volunteer hours can be used to help Habitat build, paint, fundraise and perform other day-to-day functions.

A minimum of 300 hours must be completed before the partner family can purchase the home, states a release.

Once completed, the new home will be sold for roughly 90 percent of its construction cost, states the release.

Rollison noted his favorite part about volunteering with Habitat “...is the day we put a family in the home. To see the appreciation they have is very rewarding.”

Those wishing to apply can find more information by calling 570-251-8115 or visiting Habitat for Humanity's website at www.hfhwcpa.org.

About Habitat for Humanity

Staring down its 30th anniversary next year, Habitat for Humanity has so far been able to help 21 Wayne County families in need find affordable housing.

“You might not know it,” said Graziadio, “But there's quite a need for decent, affordable housing here in Wayne County.”

Habitat holds the mortgages for each of the homes they build and uses the money from each sale to fund the next project.

“It's the ultimate way to pay it forward,” said Graziadio.

Looking ahead, Rollison alluded to some big projects coming up in 2020, one of which being construction of a high energy efficiency home at the corner of 13th and East Streets in Honesdale.

The President noted this construction is unlike anything the organization has attempted before.

To help them continue to serve the people of Wayne County, Habitat for Humanity is always on the lookout for another set of dedicated helpings hands to swing a hammer, fundraise, or plan events.

“There's all kinds of things that people can do to help us,” said Rollison.

Those interested in volunteering can find out more by calling Habitat for Humanity's office 570-251-8115 or visiting their website www.hfhwcpa.org.

Members of the public can also aid the organization by attending the annual “Run for the Roses” 5K, coming up on Saturday August 24.

—Information from a release was used in this story.