Habitat completes build on latest home



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Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

By Oct. 11, 2017, Habitat for Humanity volunteers are a hive of activity framing the new home at the corner of Second Street and Avenue M. It was begun in September and completed in February.


By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Habitat for Humanity celebrated a ribbon cutting Feb. 18 for the new home of Shana Hyslop and her 12-year-old son, Xander.

“This is our 23rd home,” said Willie Reinders of Habitat for Humanity Highland Lakes. “We have done a home a year for 23 years. We are very proud of that.”

Every homeowner in the program donates at least 150 hours of volunteer time, but Hyslop has gone above and beyond, working on at least three homes, already.

“It is exciting,” said Hyslop. “And, not just for our home. I put in my time long ago, but I expect to keep working in the program.”

“Shanna waited three years to get this house,” said Reinders. “If anybody think it just happens, they're wrong. It takes a lot of patience and sweat equity on someone else's home.”

Reinders said Habitat for Humanity always tries to get the message out, “We don't give homes away. Besides sweat equity, the home owner repays a 20-year, no-interest mortgage.

“That way the program is self sustaining.”

“The house Shana received was begun just after Labor Day,” Reinders continued. “It normally takes six months because volunteers work just two days a week—sometimes two people and sometimes as many as 20 for an average of nine workers. One volunteer has been involved 17 years.”

The process is speeded up by following repeated mirror-image 1,200-square-foot plans that allow everyone to be familiar with exactly what has to be done. He said they have calculated that the group has it down to about 2,500 volunteer hours into each home.

Many other groups contribute to projects. For example Highland Lakes Native Plant Society did the landscaping for this home and Highland Lakes Master Gardeners have contributed to others.

“Backbone Nursery has been very supportive,” he said.

Linda Taylor of Shady Acres had been driving by and when she saw plants going in, she asked if she could participate. She is a member of the Rotary eClub of District 5870, that had a district Arbor Day Habitat for Humanity Homes have been constructed all over the Highland Lakes, including Burnet, Kingsland and Hoover Valley. Two more houses are slated for Avenue M in Marble Falls.

The Hyslops already know who their next-door neighbors will be—the Rev. George Perry, his wife Linda and their two daughters.

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