Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Waco Habitat for Humanity sees increased need, fewer volunteers

WACO, TX – Waco Habitat for Humanity volunteers, Saturday, were framing a house for a local woman.

The house, located on 1214 Payne Street in Waco is being built for Maria “Inma” Castillo. She works in environmental services for Ascension Providence Hospital and has been working through the organization’s homeownership program for 19 months.

“I come from Spain,” Castillo said. “And when I came here, I never thought I was going to have a house here in Waco. It’s a dream come true,” she said.

The organization’s CEO John Alexander said using the help of volunteers to build during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging as many of their volunteers are older retirees at risk for the virus.

“Of course we wear our mask when we are working together. We’re working outside and we try to stay spread apart as much as we can. We have reduced the number of volunteers we have at the site a bit so we can be safer.”

But even as they reduce the number of people helping, the need for their services has increased. The organization will be closing its home application process at the end of the year due to an increase in requests. Alexander said they currently have enough projects to last them 2 years.

”One thing that we’ve realized in the pandemic is the importance of having a safe and healthy home,” Alexander said. “And that’s just been emphasized while we’ve had stay at home orders and with the covid-19 virus going around,” he said.

When Castillo’s house is complete she will buy it from Habitat for Humanity with a no-interest mortgage of $75,000.

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