April 16, 2014

Elyria
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Donated truck gets Habitat for Humanity moving on upcoming plans

Kelly La Rosa, executive director of Lorain County Habitat for Humanity, poses next to the organization’s new box truck.

ELYRIA — With a new truck for picking up and delivering supplies, plans to build five new homes on Morgan Avenue and two events this week, the Lorain County Habitat for Humanity is driving forward with its mission of building affordable housing.

The truck, a 2012 E-350 Ford box truck, came about because of $35,335 in donations from the Nord Family Foundation. It will be used to pick up donated items throughout Lorain County. Donations accepted are furniture, building supplies, appliances, light fixtures, cabinets and other home furnishings, and construction equipment in resalable condition.

“The truck has been a big help,” said Kelly La Rosa, who took over the organization less than a year ago. “We were renting a truck a couple times a week — that was costing us hundreds of dollars. We used to turn away donations because we don’t have a way to transport the materials back to our ReStore in Lorain.”

La Rosa said the truck will really come in handy when Habitat starts construction on five homes on Morgan Avenue. The land is already owned by the organization, and now it just needs to secure the funding, which comes mainly from local foundations, individual donors and churches.

“When I became director in November, my plan has always been to develop what we have instead of looking for new properties,” La Rosa said. “These homes would be a wonderful addition to an existing neighborhood.”

La Rosa said the homes could be built at the same time, which would be more cost-effective. It costs roughly $60,000 to build one home.

In an effort to move projects along in the county, La Rosa said two events are planned for the coming week.
From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, a fundraiser called “Raising the Roof with Lorain County” will take place at Nine Bistro at Grey Hawk Golf Club, 665 U.S. Grant St., LaGrange. Tickets are $35 and are available at the door, the Habitat ReStore at 214 E. 34th St. in Lorain or online through PayPal. The guest speaker for the night will be Clive Rainey, the nation’s first Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

From 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, a potential homeowners orientation meeting will be held at the ReStore. It will be an information session for Elyria residents who would like to apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity. All of the requirements of the program will be explained at that time.

“There is one home in Vermilion that is ready for occupation and two homes in Lorain that will be ready soon for permanent families,” La Rosa said. “We are just working hard to continue our mission of building affordable housing.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.