On Sept. 18, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne planned to again join forces with Fort Wayne Metals for a special “Panel Build.” Starting at 6 a.m., FW Metals employees were to be released from work in shifts to go to their own parking lot and volunteer with Habitat for an hour at a time.
This is the second time this summer that Fort Wayne Metals has stepped up to collaborate with Habitat, both financially and through volunteer manpower.
“The desire for affordable homeownership opportunities in our community is great,” explained Andrew Gritzmaker, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne CEO. “Innovative build strategies and strong partnerships like these help us meet that need.”
Around 150 volunteers from Fort Wayne Metals will work alongside Habitat staff and crew leads to build the 34 wall sections needed to frame an entire house in one day. Throughout the day, they will stand up all of the walls in the parking lot, essentially building the house right there.
At the end of the day, they’ll take those walls down and temporarily stack them up in the parking lot. In collaboration with Habitat, Home Lumber will then come and transport the wall panels to the Mount Vernon Park neighborhood in southeast Fort Wayne where additional volunteer groups from other organizations and sponsors will complete the home over the next several months.
The house being built is Habitat’s “Bauer”-style home. It has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and is 1,100 square feet. There’s not a garage, but Habitat will build an 8x8-foot shed for storage on the property.
As always, Habitat is building this home for, and with, one of its partner families who is looking for a safe, decent, affordable place to live. That family will complete 400 hours of sweat equity with the organization on the job site and at ReStore, Habitat’s home improvement store and donation center, before taking possession of the home. They’ll then have a mortgage through Habitat and will make monthly house payments like anyone else who owns a home. The big difference is that Habitat offers a 0% interest loan, which lowers the monthly payment and allows its partner families to begin building equity right away.
This build season, Habitat is working to complete six new homes around Allen County and rehabilitate two additional houses in Fort Wayne. Habitat originally hoped to complete a total of 10 homes, but unfortunately, COVID delayed the start of its build season, forcing the organization to drop two homes from this year’s build schedule.
Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp. makes high-quality materials, precision wire, strands and cables, and component assemblies for medical devices and other demanding applications. It has over 1,200 employees at its corporate headquarters in Fort Wayne as well as in Columbia City; Fostoria, and Wooster, Ohio; and Castlebar, Ireland. Learn more at www.fwmetals.com.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne is a nonprofit, non-denominational Christian housing ministry uniting volunteers and local investors with qualified families to provide the opportunity of affordable homeownership in Allen, Huntington and Wells counties. It has provided sustainable homeownership to more than 244 families in the region in the past 34 years. Visit habitatgfw.com for more information on services and locations.