Jolene Henry looked on eagerly as her home was built during Habitat for Humanity's "Building Blitz." The goal was to build one house in five days.
"It is so overwhelming. It's like a roller coaster of emotions,” said Henry, who along with her husband, will move their blended family of eight in, after the home is finished on Friday. The organization started with a dozen empty lots in the Riverside neighborhood and now they're down to one.
"If we're able to have lots donated it helps us keep our costs down,” said Habitat’s Executive Director Katie Roberts.
At Monday night's city council meeting, Mayor Bob Scott asked city staff to find them property to build more homes.
"If we've got vacant lots, we should encourage them to use the lots we have. We should do whatever we can to see that they have lots available,” explained Scott.
Habitat for Humanity is facing an even bigger problem. The group is not only look for land, it's also looking for funds.
“You know I don't want to start a home I can't finish,” said Roberts. Before they can building another home, "we would need to have a grant opportunity,”she added.
Like many non-profit organizations, the federal funding they've come to depend on is becoming more scarce.
"Each home can be between $90,000 and $95,000 and so finding the funding for the homes is difficult right now as those grants are drying up,” she explained.
Roberts hopes the hammers and drills won't be put down for long. She's counting on private donations to keep the organization going, so that other families have a home of their own.
"I'm so happy, I'm just so overjoyed. To think these volunteers out here helping us. It really is just a blessing,” said Henry.
A new fundraiser, in the fall, is sure to draw donations for Siouxland Habitat for Humanity.
They're planning Sioux City's first Baconfest. The date and location are still being worked out.
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