Partnership to speed up building progression
Hermann: ‘I love Habitat for Humanity and what it stands for’
The Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County has been building homes for families in the area for years, and the most recent project that broke ground in October 2018 is nearing completion.
But, a possible partnership with Missouri National Guard in Pierce City may help speed up the projects in years to come.
David Hermann, president of Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County, said there was an article in the Barry County Advertiser which featured the progress of the new home and that caught the attention of Derek Acheson, Sgt. 1st Class, readiness NCO.
“He read the article and called me up to say he was interested in a partnership to help build these homes,” he said. “‘I want to do it all,’ he said. He was talking about drywall, framing, plumbing, electrical and more.”
The two decided to get together and make a plan.
“We had a board meeting on Nov. 19 and worked on a plan to develop how exactly this would work,” Hermann said. “All the funds would come from the Habitat for Humanity donations and store sales.”
Although there are still many aspects to figure out, Hermann said the partnership is moving in the right direction.
“We would still do one house per year,” Hermann said. “But, the biggest advantage would be the speed in which we can get a home completed.”
Additionally, it would help the project financially, as the Habitat for Humanity wouldn’t have to pay for certain services.
“All we have to do is provide the materials,” Hermann said. “We still want to partner with the community for painting and cleaning.”
The home owners will still be required to do 300 hours of sweat equity for their new home.
“We do that so the home owners have a higher appreciation for their new home,” Hermann said. “It isn’t just given to them, it is earned.”
Volunteers are still needed, even with this partnership
“We are all coming together to work toward the Habitat name and continue to grow and help,” he said. “The next homeowners are going to be in Wheaton. That project will hopefully start in the spring time.”
The main goal to the partnership is to help cut down the time it takes to get the homeowners into the home.
“Habitat for Humanity is community focused, and we aim to take volunteers in that need to work in community service,” Hermann said. “I love Habitat for Humanity and what it stands for.”
The latest house being built by Habitat for Humanity is the seventh home to be built in south Barry County.
“What we do is offer a opportunity to give someone a hand up, not a hand out,” Hermann said. “This new partnership may help open other doors and opportunities, as well, an opportunity where when people say Habitat for Humanity it puts a smile on their face.”
Hermann said the Habitat for Humanity’s aim is to help the people who need it the most.
“The ReStore is great, and we see 5-10 volunteers a day that come in to help,” he said. “The best thing is that they are happy knowing the impact they are having on the community.”
Acheson said a new commander came on board in April 2019.
“We are construction engineers, and we have two vertical construction platoons of 40 people,” he said. “We have carpenters, electrical workers, plumbers and more in those platoons.”
The platoons have training for war time missions, and the commander imagined doing some building with Habitat for Humanity.
“We started talking with the Monett Habitat originally, but expanded to Cassville,” Acheson said. “That will help keep 80-120 soldiers busy for a couple weeks, we needed more than one house to build for them.”
Acheson said all this is still in the approval stages, and he won’t get the final approval to participate until February or March.
“Everyone is excited though for this opportunity,” he said. “The National Guard appreciates volunteering, and if we don’t get approved for this year, we will keep working to get approved for the next year.”
The soldiers have a five-year training cycle to be ready to go overseas.
“We are taking some time to do some more community stuff over the next two years,” Acheson said. “To me, it goes back to the roots of the National Guard, neighbors helping neighbors.
“We have the unique ability to get into the community and helping. That was what was neat to me when I started at 17 years old, was being able to help the local community as well.”
To volunteer or to donate to the Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County people may call the ReStore at 417-846-0110.