Winchester family to be announced as next Habitat for Humanity project

Volunteers work on Habitat for Humanity's 2016 project in Lancaster, South Glengarry. Dundas County will host the organizations's 2017 project. Courtesy photo

DUNDAS — Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley took longer than usual to find a family for its upcoming Dundas County build — but they have one now.

The Winchester-based family will be announced during a special Feb. 14 event at the village’s Main Street Clothing store where Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley will be on hand for the day selling fundraiser toques, mitts and ball caps, says Breckyn Fowler, resource and volunteer coordinator.

Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley is a partner in the national anti-homelessness ‘Raising the Roof’ annual toque campaign, which kicked off today with a day-long sale of those items at Cornwall’s Best Western Parkway Inn (resuming 5-7 p.m. this evening, Feb. 7). The hats and mittens continue to be available at the organization’s Bonville ReStore outlet. Meanwhile, the Valentine’s Day stop at the Winchester retailer is intended as the final campaign sales push.  “We’ll be in Winchester to sell the remainder of the stock,” said Fowler.

A selected Habitat for Humanity family receives a newly built home — constructed in part with their own “sweat equity” contribution — as well as responsibility for a mortgage at the end of the process.

“Right now, we have identified a family for Dundas,” said Fowler, adding the organization is still discussing possible build locations with the municipal governments of both South Dundas and North Dundas.

North Dundas had proposed donating the former Mountain Lions Hall lot in Mountain to the cause. “Unfortunately, the land is not suitable for us,” Fowler explained, noting the “prohibitive” cost of a hybrid septic system required on that smaller site.

The organization “would like to see a project start this year,” she said, adding they are open to private land donations as well.

The planned home will be the 13th across the United Counties since the local Habitat for Humanity’s 1998 founding, and the third in Dundas County. “I’m from Dundas, so I can’t help but be excited,” said Fowler.

“We’d like to see a project start this year,” she said, adding they initially hoped to have construction underway last summer.

But the project’s start was also slowed by a relative shortage of applicants, she conceded. “We had a handful but not a ton.”

Families in need of a hand up may be reluctant to put their name forward,  incorrectly assuming they would “never qualify,” the coordinator observed.

The newly selected family in Dundas is expected to assist with finding the next family on the succeeding 2018 project — in neighbouring Stormont County.

ReStore — Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley’s used building materials supply outlet — will get a new home this year, too. It’s set to move out of Bonville and into much larger digs at the former Metro grocery store location on Vincent Massey Drive in Cornwall this spring. The charitable organization listed the Bonville ReStore location for sale last week.

Fowler said that Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley is renting its new store address in the city.


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