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Habitat prepares for next project
new deh habitat pic
Rachel Mawhirter from Habitat for Humanity of Barton County describes the nonprofit groups next building project, Thursday at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Coffee. In the coming weeks, volunteers will be needed to help build an affordable home for one local family. - photo by Dale Hogg/Great Bend Tribune



Members of Habitat for Humanity of Barton County left their shovels inside when an April shower threatened to dampen a scheduled groundbreaking on Thursday. But Rachel Mawhirter, co-chairman on the nonprofit group’s board of directors, said a new home will be built at 19th and Hubbard this year.

The three-bedroom house will have two bathrooms and will be sold to someone who meets the Habitat for Humanity criteria, which include financial need, the ability to repay the home loan, and a willingness to work with the Habitat board. The 1,048-square-foot floorplan was based in part on the shape of the long, narrow building site.

 Working with Habitat includes sweat equity and learning about responsible home ownership, including financial management.

"We are a faith-based ministry that believes everyone should have a decent place to live," Mawhirter said. The goal is to build one new home a year. By using volunteer labor and other donations, Habitat can offer an affordable home. The agency becomes the loan holder, and payments will finance the building of future homes.

For now, though, most of the money comes from fundraising projects. "We have been fundraising for nearly two years for this building project," Mawhirter said in a recent news release. "Our two most recent fundraisers, the annual Barton County’s Got Talent Dinner Theater and a land auction, pushed us over the 100 percent funding mark." (Another fundraiser, a golf tournament, is set for June 18.)

The dirt work has been done and construction will start in a few weeks. Applications are being accepted from prospective home buyers until the next board meeting, April 20, when a decision will be made. This will be Habitat's fifth home. The first, in Hoisington, was later sold after the buyer moved away. Habitat continues to receive payments on the other three.

For information on how to apply or how to help with this project, e-mail