A public dedication ceremony for the University of Findlay’s first Habitat for Humanity home will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 at 1820 Payne Ave. Tours of the home will be followed by a free picnic to celebrate the Oiler Build, which has been years in the making.
The partner family includes single mother Julie Merrin and her 9-year-old daughter, Rachel, who were selected this spring. Merrin a Findlay City School District administrative assistant, along with her friends and family, invested 400 hours of her labor (sweat equity) to help build the house and work with Habitat’s ReStore. Merrin will be required to make a down payment and take out a zero percent interest mortgage for 20 years with Habitat serving as her bank. Merrin’s mortgage payments pay it forward to help Habitat serve future families. The homeowner of Habitat House No. 33 will present the Merrins with the key to their new home and a Bible welcoming them to the “Habitat Family.”
This project represents the 34th home build in the county, and the second one built locally this year, that involves Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County, which is partnering with the University on this project. UF chapter members, students, alumni, faculty and staff worked on all phases of construction, from the initial framing and foundation through to the finishing touches of some beautiful flowers in their landscaping. The local Habitat provided the land, a paid construction manager and volunteer crew leaders to oversee the project and supervise, coach and teach the students.
“Habitat is so grateful for the partnership with The University of Findlay and it’s students,” said Wendy McCormick, Habitat Executive Director. “The Habitat Campus Chapter and all its alumni fundraised, and who came back to build have brought tremendous passion to our mission of providing simple, decent, affordable housing. This home will be a beacon of light that stands in the community long after they all graduate,” she said.
To make the home possible, UF fundraised for the past six years. A total of $75,000 was raised and donated to construct the home; on-campus fundraising efforts and $20,000 in three matching grants from State Farm Insurance also contributed toward that total. The build began in the spring of 2015 with wall building on campus, and a wall-raising ceremony on Aug. 22.
Following the short dedication ceremony, a free thank you picnic will be offered to all who have been a part of making this home possible.