Habitat For Humanity's House No. 9 Set For Groundbreaking

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The construction of Payson Area Habitat for Humanity's house No. 9, in partnership with the Cindy Campbell family, will be launched with a groundbreaking ceremony at the building site tomorrow morning.

But truth be known, this meaningful event will be more of an early housewarming than an actual groundbreaking, as volunteers have already begun work on what Campbell has called her family's "first real home."

"As of (Tuesday), the underground utilities are all in, as well as the sewer drain lines and water supply lines under the concrete floor slab," PAHH Office Manager Judy Berger said. "The footers and stem walls were completed a couple of weeks ago then PAHH volunteers compacted approximately 100 cubic yards of screened granite."

The slab also was poured Tuesday, Berger said, and the front porch, garage apron and back stoops were poured Wednesday.

Campbell and her four children Christina, 17; Jason, 14; Ryan, 9; and Isaiah, 5 are partnering with PAHH in the building of their house. Faced with having to earn 300 sweat equity hours during their partnership, the family immediately swung into action after they were selected Jan. 17, 2002.

"They all worked at the annual Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction in March," Berger said. "Cindy and Christina manned the PAHH booth at the Business Showcase in April. And they all distributed door hangers inviting the neighbors of homeowners-to-be Jon and Gretchen Lenzmeier to the dedication of House No. 8 in April."

The Campbells have also been cleaning up the site of their house, and plan to get very involved once the framing starts next week. Among their most anticipated tasks will be the installation of a two-by-four wall stud boasting the signatures of local residents who donated a dollar to PAHH in exchange for a little immortality.

Berger said the organization's construction activity has been in full swing with not much of a break.

"House No. 7 for Christine Garcia was followed immediately by house No. 8 for the Lenzmeier family," she said. "And after a brief hiatus, construction on house No. 9 began June 24.

"Who would have thought back in 1994, during the formative stages of Payson Area Habitat for Humanity, that we would be producing upward of two houses a year?"

Much of the credit for PAHH's success, Berger said, goes to its faithful volunteers, from tradesmen to "do-it-yourselfers" to novices.

"The Payson community has been a driving force," she said. "Many, many businesses and individuals have donated funds or supplies to assist in the building. Others have donated the use of heavy equipment, specialized tools, and much-needed advice."

For the Campbell family's house, four gifts are helping to purchase needed supplies: a $5,000 grant for materials from Lanoga Corporation/Lumbermen's Building Centers; a $10,000 grant from the Thomas P. and Dorothy Waters Foundation; a $5,000 anonymous gift; and a Bank One of Arizona grant of $3,500.

Individual donations have ranged from 61 cents in change to $101.00 from the Payson High School Key Club for ceiling fans, and a $1,000 donation for windows from John and Sue Wilson.

Foxworth-Galbraith is donating the roof trusses. Excaliber Concrete and Plues Brother Masonry have donated the labor to complete the footers, stem walls and concrete flatwork.

Other firms, churches, individuals and groups have assisted as well, Berger said, and all will be acknowledged when the Campbell's completed house is dedicated in December.

PAHH became an accredited affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International July 1995. Its mission is to build decent, affordable homes for those in need, giving them a hand up, not a hand out. To date, seven house have been completed and occupied. Selected families form a partnership with PAHH, perform many hours of sweat equity and provide $1,300 to cover closing costs when house ownership is transferred to them.

The homeowners then pay a no-interest monthly mortgage payment to PAHH. This money is plowed back into the building program, allowing more houses to be built.

For information about Payson Area Habitat for Humanity, call 474-0330, or visit the organization's offices at 1013 South Goodfellow Road Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon.

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