Summit Habitat for Humanity dedicates first home in 10 years
October 25, 2014
When April Weber learned she was the finalist for Summit Habitat for Humanity's latest home, she said she "screamed like they do on the Miss America Pageant."
However, the 41-year-old single mother of four initially didn't want to apply.
In 2008, when the Summit County economy was in a tailspin, Weber went through a tough divorce and lost her home in the process.
"I remember leaving my house and having to tell my kids, 'Hey, we're leaving but we've got a place,'" she said. "It didn't matter how small it was. I was just so happy there was a tiny place we could afford. We went from 3,000 square feet to 700. And I was excited to get that."
She and her family then lived in a succession of rental homes. By 2013, she was tired of moving and wanted to stay put. She was fine, she thought — she had a place to live.
Then someone planted a seed: It's not just about having a place to live — it's about owning your own home.
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Weber, who owns First Impression Salon and Spa in Frisco, decided to apply. Today, more than a year later, she and her children are packing up and moving into their new Habitat home on Illinois Gulch Road in Breckenridge.
It was a barn-raising atmosphere on Saturday, Oct. 25, when Habitat volunteers and Weber's family gathered to celebrate the home they built together, pouring in more than 2,000 hours of work over the course of a year. In total, more than 80 people, including Weber's family, pitched in to complete the project. Several local businesses, including Breckenridge Building Center, Greer's Appliance Center and Sanders True Value Hardware, donated materials or sold them at a discount.
"This is the fourth house Habitat has built and it won't be our last," said Diana Gordon, president of the board of directors.
The building process started around August 2013. A short building season made even shorter by record snowfall stretched the process out, site manager Elycia Schaetzel said.
The home is Habitat's first new house in about 10 years — or about "10 years too long," according to Dan Gibbs, the county commissioner who also sits on the state board for Habitat for Humanity.
Gordon said that finding lots to build on in Summit County, where land values are prohibitively expensive, has been difficult.
"Our biggest challenge is attaining affordable land to build on," she said. "The land is just so valuable here for housing."
Currently, the group is looking for its next lot.
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