By Tina Snellm Staff Writer
Lori Neuhring and her two children, Victoria, 9, and Chance, 8, are so excited to think that in just a few weeks they will be living in their new home. They are the 12th recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home in Morrison County, and the first rural house built by Habitat since its inception.
The home is built to be handicapped accessible as Neuhring was diagnosed in 2003 with multiple sclerosis (MS). While she doesn’t need the special features now, she knows she will need them in the future.
“Lori’s parents donated the property so she and her family could be close by in case she needs assistance,” said Kathy Kahlhamer, director of Habitat.
Lori’s MS is considered relaxing/remitting.
“Some days are better than others,” she said. “But the disease causes extreme fatigue and on most days, I need a nap. I just take it day by day.”
Lori said that recently, walking distances has become more difficult. She said that exercise can help, but overheating herself causes the symptoms to escalate.
The house, soon to be finished, is 1,248 square feet with a front patio. There are three bedrooms, one bathroom, a utility room and a large communal area that includes the kitchen, dining area and living room. “I picked out earth tone colors for most of the rooms. Mostly browns with splashes of red,” said Neuhring. “All except for Victoria’s room. There she wanted aqua and lime green. She loves the idea that it is so bright and cheery.”
The painting of the rooms was donated by Terri Verkuilen of Little Falls, and Neuhring said she did an incredible job.
“It’s going to be a delight to live in this home,” she said.
Neuhring’s future plans include adding a garage for both her car and more storage and creating flower and vegetable gardens. She would like a railing around the patio and thinks a variety of trees around the house would look great.
“This whole project gives me a sense of worth,” said Neuhring. “I now have a home of my own and won’t have to rely on my parents for a place to live. It’s a sense of pride to be able to give people my address and not my parents.”
Neuhring said the work that was done by volunteers was excellent.
“I watched every step of the building process. Dale Peterson was the site manager and he and the other volunteers did wonderful jobs making sure everything was done perfectly,” said Neuhring.
She said that it makes her feel good knowing there are so many people in the community that come together for such an unselfish reason. “And they are all so nice, too,” she said.
Kahlhamer said that besides Peterson, church groups, friends and individuals all volunteered to work on Neuhring’s home.
Neuhring and other recipients of Habitat homes work alongside the volunteers, investing a minimum of 300 hours of “sweat equity,” to build their home and others.
“After only three and a half days, the house was ready for siding, and it usually takes longer than that,” said Kahlhamer.
Kahlhamer said that building a Habitat home usually takes longer than most homes because much of the labor is done by volunteers and they need to work around their regular work schedules. Many times the work, done by licensed professionals in many cases, is done on Saturdays.
Applications for the 2012 home are now being taken. Applicants must have lived in Morrison County for at least one year, have a housing need and be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity to provide 300 hours of sweat equity in the home. The applicant’s income must be within the established guidelines and they must be able to pay back the 0 percent interest mortgage.
For more information, contact Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County at (320) 616-2084.