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Welcome Home - Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers at Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity built a house on Saturday, September 28th.

Dusty Dodge writes a message to the new owners of the home on one of the beams at a Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity build.

Much like an old-fashioned barn-raising, volunteers nailed together the frames and stood them up, showing the exterior of the 1,110-square-foot house. Once the exterior walls are built in the lot behind Habitat’s Restore in Bergen Park, they will be hauled to Empire and assembled into the third of eight Habitat homes being constructed there. We had 117 volunteers during four 2-hour shifts and finished an hour early.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization devoted to building simple, decent, affordable housing. Blue Spruce Habitat covers from C-470 to the Eisenhower Tunnels, western Jefferson County and Park County to Kenosha Pass. Since it started in 1990, it has built 40 homes.

The people who get the homes must meet income and other qualifications, put in sweat equity to help build the house and get a mortgage with payments no more than 30 percent of their gross income. On Saturday morning, the sound of 20 hammers nailing boards together filled the air as volunteers from the community, a Colorado School of Mines fraternity and other groups got to work. When they were finished, they used permanent markers to write well-wishes to the disabled couple that will receive this house.Volunteers wrote messages such as “Grace and peace to you,” Welcome home,” and “Prayers and love” into the home’s frames.

Saturday’s event was a partnership between Blue Spruce Habitat and Thrivent Financial, according to Blue Spruce Habitat Executive Director Kathleen O’Leary. The organization also reached out to churches and other organizations to help.

The volunteers agreed that the goal of Saturday’s event was to help the community, and in the process, they learned a new skill.“This gives people a chance to experience what would be involved in building a wall,” said Dusty Dodge, who brought his wife Chris, son Matt and his son’s girlfriend, Kate to help frame walls. Craig Rutherford also volunteered. “It’s a sense of accomplishment.”

Dodge, who also serves as president of Blue Spruce Habitat’s board of directors, added: “It’s fun, and it’s a wonderful cause. There’s such a huge need for housing.”

Brady Gannett and Dalton Weigel, members of the School of Mines’ Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, said they had never participated in a build of this magnitude, adding that Habitat’s reputation for helping the community was enough to make them get up early on Saturday to help out. Some of the Evergreen football team and their coach also volunteered.

Scott Deem and Richard Hartford with Rancho Deluxe Fine Homes in Conifer were team leaders, teaching the volunteers what they needed to do to get the job done. Deem said volunteers spent Friday cutting the boards and laying things out so production day would go smoothly.

Rebecca Rutherford of Evergreen was among the first batch of volunteers, saying she decided to help because she shops in the organization’s Restore and her son, who is on the EHS football team, would be volunteering later that day. She called it fun to learn about building a house and to help others. “I’ve never framed a house,” Rutherford said.,“It’s nice to have the community come together and do something for somebody else.”