The sun was shining bright Oct. 13 as ground was broken, making way for the construction of the Arkansas City Habitat’s 19th habitat house, at 505 S. Sixth St.
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian, nonprofit, worldwide organization whose vision is to provide a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976, and Habitat for Humanity Arkansas City began building homes in 2000. The funds for constructing the homes are provided through donations and fundraisers.
Lead Sponsorship Donor, The Robert Warrender Trust, which is administered by Trustee, Wayne Hamilton, is providing a $10,000 donation for this year’s project. This is the fourth home that Robert Warrender Trust has been the Lead Sponsorship Donor, having provided funding for a total of eight homes thus far in Arkansas City.
Volunteer manpower is used to build the homes.
Each house is sold to the chosen family for approximately two thirds of its market value under a no-interest 20-year mortgage, with a forgivable second mortgage on the remainder value of the house. The recipient is also required to provide 300 hours of sweat equity during the construction of their home. Families are chosen through an application and review process based on need and ability to repay the mortgage.
This year’s recipient of the opportunity to purchase and help build the house is a family of five; Jose and Josefina Mendoza, along with their three children, Vanessa, Hazel and Jose. Each family member took shovel in hand, broke the ground and began the journey to their new home. The Mendoza family has resided in Arkansas City since 2008 after living in California. Many members of the Mendoza extended family have joined the Mendozas in choosing Ark City to raise their families.
Josefina says that she loves living in a small town and thinks Ark City is a great place for their children to grow up. Mr. Mendoza works at Rubbermaid, while Josefina is employed at Creekstone. The children attend Ark City schools, Vanessa, high school; Hazel, middle school; and the youngest, Jose, is in the Head Start program at Adams Elementary.
The Mendoza’s plan to supply volunteer hours whenever they are not working.
The Mendozas are looking forward to moving into their four-bedroom, two bath home. Construction has begun on the home, with an anticipated completion date in March.