Area Habitat for Humanity marks 25 years of making dreams come true

 

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From left, Central Delaware Habitat For Humanity executive director Jonathan Gallo, homeowner Dawn Taylor, contractor Harve Carrow of Smyrna and Central Delaware Habitat For Humanity development director Chris Cooper stand in front of the soon-to-be-renovated home on Queen Street. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — As Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity celebrates 25 years it will embark on a 25-day project of restoring a home on Queen Street in Dover for a deserving family.

The house was originally built by Habitat in 1995, but its previous tenant, Karen Kapcsos, had to move closer to an ailing family member. She sold the home back to Habitat.

“We’re proud of her,” said Jonathan Gallo, executive director of Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity. “She always paid her mortgage on time and was able to build equity and the home is now able to go to another family who deserves it.”

After receiving an application from Dawn Taylor of Dover in late September, the board of directors in October approved her as the next tenant of the home.

“It’s all happened so fast and it’s a dream come true for me and my kids,” said Ms. Taylor, the mother of four.

Since the structure is 20 years old, it’s getting a major upgrade with new siding, new roofing and almost the entire interior is being gutted. A wheelchair ramp off the front of the house will be transformed into a patio.

“We’re going to give this place a complete makeover so Dawn and her family can start off fresh here,” Mr. Gallo said.

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Dawn Taylor kneels in her Queen Street front yard which will shortly be re-landscaped thanks to Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.

Ms. Taylor and her family have been able to participate in some of the upgrade decisions like siding color, wall paint and other details.

“The kids have been so excited to help me pick out some of the options for the new house,” Ms. Taylor said. “We’re moving from a trailer that we’ve outgrown over the years so it’s going to be great. They’re ecstatic.”

Professional contractors will be on site the next couple days to complete some preliminary work so the remaining tasks will be suitable for volunteers with little or no building experience.

When volunteers begin to arrive on Tuesday, a site manager will break them into small groups of about five and direct work flow to get things moving at a steady pace because Habitat is planning on getting the project finished in 25 days so Ms. Taylor’s family can move in on Dec. 23, 20 years to the day since Ms. Kapcsos moved in.

In celebration of Habitat’s 25th anniversary, the organization is putting 25 hours of work into the home over the course of two days. The 25 hours will be completed between 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

To sign up to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, visit centraldelawarehabitat.org or call (302) 526-2366.

Habitat’s most recent projects have focused on housing in downtown Dover and the organization plans to keep that focus as various efforts are made to revitalize downtown districts across the state.

“I think over the next few years, there will be a lot of changes downtown and what we do will definitely be a contributing factor to those changes,” Mr. Gallo said.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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