By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
Transforming neighborhoods, and transforming lives, and doing it all in just five days. Habitat for Humanity is building a house from the ground up in Grand Island this week.
"We’re going to build a house in five days," project manager Amos Anson explained, or as Dana Jelinek put it, "coordinated chaos."
Unlike most Habitat for Humanity homes, this one is built by professionals. They’re calling it a home builders blitz, one of hundreds going on nationwide.
Local home builder's association president Jeremy Vlcek said, "What a better way to frame a house, two hours we got all the walls up, so awesome to have everyone come together."
The pros will make sure April Mora’s house is picture perfect. As a working divorced mom with four kids, it’s an answer to her housing needs, even if she almost didn’t answer the call accepting her.
"Phone rang and we ignored it, rang again, we ignored it," she said. "I picked up the phone the next time it rang. It was the board saying I'd been selected and my kids were jumping on their beds, they were so excited."
While it’s built by professionals, April’s put in more than 500 hours helping others build their homes.
Dana Jelinek, local Habitat for Humanity executive said, "Our families are really invested in their homes, because not only have they put in those hours, they put in blood, sweat, and tears into having their own home."
She’ll be moving in at the end of the week. The new house is modest, but affordable. And yes, there is a mortgage.
April said, "I'll actually be paying less for my house than rent right now."
Contractor Amos Anson has given up many Saturdays the past nine years helping families achieve their dreams, saying he believes in the mission.
"You give a kid a car, what's that to him. But you have to pound the nails in your own house, you take pride in it," he said.
It’s the third blitz build in Grand Island and the 76th home overall for Habitat for Humanity.
"It's like extreme makeover mini edition," April Mora said.
They started Monday morning and already have started electrical and plumbing. They’re praying storms stay away, so they can hand April the keys to her home this weekend.