Family Success Stories

Angie Purdy
Home Sweet Home #3
Berthoud Habitat for Humanity
Anne Reichenberg, April 2010

Berthoud Habitat Family Selection chose a single mother with two children, Noah and Heidi.
Heidi was severely injured in a car accident at the age of three. She has partial paralysis and is cognitively 4-6 years of age. She has under gone a multitude of operations and needs many amenities that our other houses don’t have. This made the construction of the home challenging for our new construction managers Mike and Marilyn Cook.

CHALLENGES OF BUILDING A HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE HOME:
We had to change the blue prints to accommodate a handicapped person
We subcontracted out the framing of the home, so we could work inside during the winter.
Compliance to ADA regulations
Wheel Chair lift in garage, garage too short for ramp.
Home is energy star rated
Thermal Barrier paint on outside surfaces of house to conserve energy.
Finish part of basement with two bedrooms and bath. One for Noah and one for caregiver.
Bathroom had to be enlarged to accommodate wheelchair turning radius.
A Handicapped bathtub with air bubbles and heat had to be installed with all proper hookups.
Air conditioning had to be installed because she is sensitive to heat.
We had to pay extra to have Whirlpool install an icemaker in the refrigerator
We had to have a fire sprinkler system installed throughout the whole house.
Donated by Front Range Fire Protection and Gopher Excavation.

 

 

Shawn and Becki Smith
Home Sweet Home #2
The Surveyor
Bob McDonnell

Shawn and Becki Smith Habitat home is the second official Habitat home in town, according to Berthoud Habitat construction manager and long-time supporter, Tom Patterson had high praise for the local family, consisting of Shawn and Becki and their children Gabe and Katrina. The way the young couple speaks to each other with respect, and their parenting skills, were what impressed Patterson the most. He summed up his assessment of the Smiths as being a good family. Patterson has known the couple for many years. He said he taught Shawn in the eighth grade at Bill Reed School in Loveland. Becki father (Morris Churchill) was the minister at the Presbyterian Church they all attend. The Smiths have had some challenges in finding suitable housing in the past. They rented in both Berthoud and Loveland and had a mobile home at one point. Shawn knew he wanted to make his permanent home in Berthoud after serving in the Navy. Becki, a Berthoud High graduate, agreed. Shawn said this is where he wants to retire some day. The cozy, almost 1,200 square foot house is just what the family needed. Shawn looked out the front door and remarked on the beautiful view of the mountains. The family, including their dog Maggie, is settling in, and the house is becoming a home. One of the ways each family member is making the place theirs is through the use of color. Shawn jokingly called their new residence the house of many colors. The sun-lit kitchen is a cheery orange, and the two kids were able to personalize their rooms with paint too. Gabe picked red and blue from his favorite movie character,“Lightning McQueen.” Younger sister Katrina opted for a shade of purple, and mom and dad picked yellow for the master bedroom. Habitat homes are awarded based on need and the ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest loan. After a family is qualified, they must also do what is called, “sweat equity,” which means helping to build the home. The Smiths logged 500 hours on their home, and they recruited some extended family to help.Even Gabe and Katrina helped by sweeping and cleaning as the project progressed. The Smiths will close on the house on Fourth Street in April, and there will be a dedication ceremony too. For now, they are getting on with their lives. Shawn is a production worker at a manufacturing company and Becki works at a local nursing home. Tom Patterson and Berthoud Habitat will continue to work with the Smiths. The nurturing committee will keep in contact with them and offer counseling on topics such as finance and budgeting. Berthoud Habitat for Humanity is part of Habitat for Humanity International, which is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization. The organization brings together people with resources and people in need, to build decent, affordable houses. Millard Fuller founded the organization in 1976. Fuller passed away at age 76 on Feb. 3 of this year. Habitat for Humanity has built and sold more than 125,000 houses that have provided shelter for more than 625,000 people worldwide. To learn more about the local Habitat for Humanity or to find out about volunteer opportunities, call 532-2870 or go to www.berthoudhabitat.org