This new house will be the home for the Joyce Leonard Family of New Kensington. As partners with Habitat for Humanity, the Leonard family was present to help with the project and will put their own sweat equity into the house.
This new house is part of a push by our local Habitat affiliate to increase our building capacity. In previous years we have built one house a year; last year we built two; this year we will build three! The new house on McCargo Street will be a duplex - houses #8 and #9 for our affiliate. This year's third house will be in Tarentum at a location yet to be determined.
Key assistance this year comes through a grant from Thrivent Builds - a partnership between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity. Thrivent Builds sponsors the Leonard house in this duplex. The Pittsburgh Mills is sponsoring the other house of this duplex.
The students of St. Luke Lutheran School in Cabot raised almost $2,500 for this house. They signed their names to a 2x4, which was presented to the Leonard family at the wall-raising today. The Thrivent Builds partnership has led to the involvement of a large number of local Lutherans in this project and others.
Before the walls were raised today there was a brief worship service at the work site. Rev. Dr. James Legge, President of the local affiliate, read a letter from Bishop Donald J. McCoid, of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod. The Rev. Dave Matthews, pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Verona and the Apostles Lutheran Church in Penn Hills offered the closing prayer in the service.
After receiving some instructions in safety, the volunteers present lifted the first wall into place on the count of three.
(And that is the same count we'll use to build three houses in 2006.)
The first wall was impressive from the outside.
And a second wall went up within an hour of the first.
It was truly inspiring to see so many people working together to bring into being one part of a plan to end poverty housing.