Rochelle Fisher is looking for a few hundred Good Samaritans who want to help veterans.
Fisher, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, needs volunteers to build interior and exterior walls of the future Valor Home for homeless veterans at 1033 E. Waterloo Road.
The $1.5 million, 30-bed facility is a project of Family & Community Services of Portage County, which also operates Freedom House, a shelter for veterans in Kent.
Fisher said Habitat volunteers will contribute their hours of volunteer time to help the Portage County agency achieve the necessary amount of matching contributions to receive a $903,338 grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Matthew Slater, director of veterans services for Family & Community Services Inc., said the agency still needs to raise $160,000 to $200,000. About $300,000 has been raised so far, including what is expected to be about $100,000 in labor by Habitat volunteers.
Fisher said the work on the walls will begin in March and should take about a month to complete. She said the work will be performed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Habitat’s new facility at 2301 Romig Road, a former Handy Andy store.
Assisting with the Valor Home “is really in line with a lot of the mission and direction that Habitat International is starting” in the area of helping veterans, Fisher said.
The home’s general contractor, Testa Builders, reached out to Habitat, said Joel Testa, chief operating officer for the builder.
Habitat is a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to providing affordable housing to families that put in volunteer hours called “sweat equity” to help build homes and then receive no-interest loans.
The organization will have built or worked on 165 homes by the end of March. For the next construction season, which starts in April, the group hopes to tackle 25 projects to mark its 25th anniversary.
Once the walls for the veterans home are built, Fisher said, they will be transported to the Waterloo Road construction site, where volunteers will help install them.
“We need to be there for these veterans,” Fisher said.
Slater said the building should be finished by November.
He said the volunteer effort by Habitat and others is unbelievable.
“Community matters,” he said. “It is almost beyond words what people are willing to give” to help with Valor Home.
To volunteer with Habitat, send email to habitat@ hfhsummitcounty.org or call 330-745-7734. To volunteer on Valor Home in other ways, email Slater at mslater@ fcsohio.com, go to www. valorhome.org or call 330-703-2585.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.