Residents lend a hand for barn-raising |

Residents lend a hand for barn-raising

BRECKENRIDGE – Local’s Lane is aptly named – it’s the street where residents have come together to help one of their own.

Habitat for Humanity organized an old-fashioned barn-raising to build its second home for a local family in Summit County Friday through Sunday. The organization is helping people find affordable housing one family at a time.

The first house it built in Dillon Valley took a year and a half, so this year, general contractor Paul Becker suggested a more traditional, and quicker, approach – barn-raising.

Historically, community members would build a house or a barn in a couple of days for a new family. Friday, history repeated itself as more than 125 workers – 90 percent of whom volunteered – showed up to build the prefabricated home, said Vicki Pierpont, president of the Summit County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s been an amazing community effort,” said safety and volunteer coordinator Char Bloom. “It’s really heartwarming to be a part of it.”

From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 30 subcontractors worked elbow-to-elbow to transform a hole in the ground into a home, complete with plumbing, Bloom said. While skilled volunteers measured, sawed and pounded, other community members made sure the workers were well fed.

“At least 50 percent of the volunteers don’t have any special skills,” Bloom said. “They do whatever it takes to keep the skilled people going.”

Various residents, restaurants and grocery stores donated food, supplies and money, while several local companies, such as Budget Blinds, donated necessary materials.

Habitat for Humanity’s final cost for the 1,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath house will be $100,000 to $120,000, Pierpont said.

Scott and Carla Giles have been awarded the house. Scott Giles started the Summit High School wrestling team and has worked in the high school for 11 years. He married Carla three years ago, and nine months ago, they had twin boys. She has worked as a substitute teacher for the school district and now teaches piano.

The couple is required to pay an interest-free, affordable monthly mortgage payment and put 500 hours of sweat equity into their house and the next Habitat for Humanity house, which the organization plans to build in 2003 – right next door to the Gileses.

“The most important thing is we’re keeping the good people in the county, which leads to a better quality of life,” Pierpont said. “They would have had to move to Denver if we couldn’t find them a place.”

“It’s a huge blessing,” Carla Giles said. “I’m overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness. My heart’s so full. I’ve just had tears in my eyes. I’ve (also) been walking around with a big grin on my face, and I just want to give everyone a big hug. Tom Begley (who organized the contractors and ordered materials) and everyone else have just gone out of their way to make it really nice.”

Next weekend, volunteers will complete the inside and paint the house.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, or to volunteer, call Vicki Pierpont at (970) 418-8080.

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