York Habitat looking for family for Veteran's Build

John Joyce

York Habitat for Humanity Associate Director Mark Mattern expects 60 to 100 people will attend a groundbreaking later this month for the low-income housing provider's latest Veteran's Build, not including officials, dignitaries and potentially a high school band.

Not scheduled to attend, however, are the home's future owners.

"We are still looking for a veteran or active (duty) military family who needs a home," Mattern said.

Because of the large number of people expected to attend the ceremony, Habitat has arranged a shuttle service to bus visitors in from an area hotel. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at 935 Conewago Ave. in Manchester.

"With this being a very small neighborhood and with so many visitors expected, Habitat is asking everyone to park at the Conewago Inn, 3480 York Haven Road, Manchester, where we will be providing a free shuttle service to the new home location," Mattern said in a news release.

The build: Mattern said more than 400 volunteers are expected to contribute to the build, the first of its kind since 2012, over a six-month period. But the real excitement will come during blitz week, he explained.

"Building usually takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. But during blitz week we go from the ground floor all the way to under roof in one week," Mattern said. "We put the whole house up."

Throughout blitz week, beginning June 7, 10 volunteer teams will work one shift each, either morning until noon or noon until evening, for five days. The result should be a whole house framed and under a roof by the end of the week, he said.

"Once the roof is up we can build no matter what, no matter the weather," Mattern said. "We don't care if it rains, if it's cold, whatever it does, we build."

Fundraising began as far back as last fall with a veteran's dance, and volunteers are already signed up for the regular Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday shifts through the summer, although Habitat is always looking for more volunteers. The blitz week volunteer schedule is not quite full yet, but it is getting there, Mattern said.

Eligible: The home should be complete by late fall and will go to a qualifying medium- to low-income military family. Families interested in learning whether or not they are eligible first-time homebuyers under the Habitat for Humanity program are encouraged to go to the nonprofit's website at www.yorkhabitat.org for more information.

York Habitat has constructed 119 low-income homes in its 30-year existence. The new site — donated to Habitat by a local family — will be project No. 120.

There are income requirements, a minimum amount and a maximum based on the location of the home, for the family who will buy the home, and they have to be first-time homeowners. They cannot own other property and qualify for a Habitat home, Mattern said.

— Reach John Joyce at jjoyce2@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at  @JohnJoyceYD.