Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Habitat breaks ground for 38th house

On Feb. 7, Habitat for Humanity of Mason County broke ground for a new house, the third of a trio of structures in a row on Park Street on the edge of downtown Shelton near Kneeland Park.

The house at 529 Park St. will be home to Christina Salt and her three children, 20-year-old Alonya Barnes, 14-year-old Trevor Johnson II and 7-year-old Larry Dee III. This is Habitat for Humanity of Mason County's 38th house.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working with communities in all 50 states and in more than 70 countries that builds affordable homes for people in need. Habitat homeowners help build their home alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

The group's family selection committee chooses homeowners based on the applicant's level of need, their willingness to partner with Habitat, and their ability to repay a mortgage though an affordable payment plan.

Habitat's homebuyers invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity. Along with building new houses, Habitat renovates existing homes; helps people repair and improve their homes and neighborhoods; works with communities to address housing needs after natural disasters; and advocates to raise awareness and support for decent and affordable housing around the world.

Salt is a Shelton native who was living in Bremerton when she returned to her hometown in 2018. She and three of her four children live in a two-bedroom apartment. She has worked for The Patty Wagon for five years.

At the apartment, she shares a room with her 7-year-old son while her daughter is in the other bedroom. Her older son is on the couch in the living room.

The move into their own house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, projected for August, "will be life changing," Salt said.

"My 14-year-old has never had a room of his own," she said.

At the ground-breaking gathering Feb. 7, Pastor Michael Wedman of New Community Church of Union noted he was presiding over his first groundbreaking.

The event marked not only a groundbreaking for a new structure "but a life," he said. "You can now dream again and make plans and that's amazing."

Henry Biernacki, the group's construction committee chairman, read the dedication aloud.

"A home is where families grow, memories are made and possibilities arise. But sadly, not everyone has a safe, healthy place to call home. Instead, many are struggling to get by, forced to live in substandard housing. We believe everyone deserves decent, affordable housing. This groundbreaking here today is a symbol of our affiliate's commitment to affect our community in a positive way. It also showcases an opportunity for the community - volunteers and businesses - to support our efforts to provide housing for the less fortunate."

Habitat for Humanity of Mason County's community partners include Sierra Pacific Industries, Gale Contractor Services, Williams Architecture, Honey Bucket, Faith Lutheran Church, Kealy Electric, Hardie Plumbing, Belco, Steelscape, New Community Church of Union, Sherwin Williams and Universal Coatings LLC.

The group is looking for a site to buy for its 39th house, said program manager Heidi Frazier. The group desperately needs construction volunteers, she said.

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald


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