The Neosho Area Habitat for Humanity has been building homes for local families for almost 25 years. Currently, the group has begun building another home on Washington Avenue in Neosho.

The Neosho Area Habitat for Humanity has been building homes for local families for almost 25 years. Currently, the group has begun building another home on Washington Avenue in Neosho.
The building lot has been cleared of an abandoned home, brush, trees, and trash. A fence that had to be relocated was moved and now the lot is ready for the actual construction to begin.
Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families that need a hand up. The chosen family must contribute over 300 hours of labor to the building of the home, they must have need for a home, and they must be able to pay the monthly payments. One family was so eager to get into their home that they contributed over 1,000 hours of labor.  
One of the basic beliefs of Habitat for Humanity is that people who live in a decent home have more incentive to be constructive citizens.
The home is sold to the family with an interest-free loan, usually with a twenty year loan plan. The family for the Washington Avenue home has already been selected. Habitat likes to have the family under contract before construction so they know what the family needs in a new home. One of the earlier Neosho homes had a handicapped child, so the home was built with wider halls and other things to make life better for the child.
Of the homes already built by Habitat, two of them are completely paid off. All but one of the homes has been built in Neosho, but one home was remodeled for a family in Goodman.
Local Habitat president Larry Swift said that Habitat can always use extra hands with the building. They usually only work on Saturdays. The group also will take financial donations toward a new house. For several years, Habitat had a “carpenter’s club,” where people agreed to donate a certain amount of money when each home is started. Swift hopes to re-establish the carpenter’s club.
As most members of the Habitat for Humanity board are working people, this year they have hired a part-time executive director, Sy Werner, to deal with day-to-day business.
As all labor is volunteer, with the family aiding the volunteer, no certain time for the completion of the project is set. Rainy weekends and holidays slow the construction. Swift said he hopes the family can move into their new home for the holidays this winter. In the past, several homes were finished a day or two before Christmas.
Once the home on Washington Avenue is complete, Habitat will once again search for a worthy family to help them build and buy a home of their own.