STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – On Friday, Habitat for Humanity volunteers were hard at work building a new house on Ridge Way Drive in Struthers. They made even more progress on Saturday and by Sunday, the project was completed 48 hours after they started.
People from all over the United States came to finish the house during one of the Habitat’s Blitz Build weekends.
Most of the work on Sunday consisted of finishing the paneling on the side and back of the home. Crews completed the drywall inside as well.
Building the house on a slight hill and getting the scaffolding to reach high enough were the biggest issues for the crews.
Monica Craven of Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning Valley says it’s all for a good cause. It will be the first home for one of the group’s own volunteers.
“It’s giving people who would never be homeowners a chance to be a homeowner.”
Volunteers left a message on the door frame for new owner Janine DiPaola. She says she never thought she would own a home.
“I just kind of figured I would be in an apartment situation…where everything’s picked out,” she said. “You can pick out your curtains, but that’s about it.”
Thanks to Habitat, DiPaola picked out the gray siding and white trim for her brand new home. The group is helping her with more than just the house.
“Help me to grow as a person as well, and learn how to manage my credit and manage my finances,” DiPaola said. “I am very appreciative, extremely appreciative. I can’t thank them enought for everything they have done.”
Project leader Tom Gerdy says finishing these homes feels like nothing else.
“There’s an adrenaline rush that stays with us for many days after meeting so many good people,” said project leader Tom Gerdy. “Standing back seeing what all of these people did in a couple of days, it’s a good ride home.”
When Habitat breaks ground for construction, Craven says there is a ripple effect.
“People next door are like, ‘Wow, this gorgeous house is next door. Maybe I should mow my lawn more often or put some flowers in.’ We also see the local city governments are more likely to fix burned out lights or patch the street.”
DiPaola’s house should be ready to move in by August. She says she’s going to continue volunteering for Habitat, and she encourages others to do the same.