Ten houses in ten years was cause for the Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity (CPHH) supporters to throw a party at O'Neill Hall in Soldotna.
It was May 1992 when the local chapter became officially the 700th affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and the first in the state of Alaska. According to Susan Hatch, CPHH executive director, the organization hopes to maintain the same pace over the next decade and will be starting home number 11 this spring, "We experience a lot of community support, and with that support, we have been able to build one house a year for the last ten years," said Hatch.
The program has essentially become self-sustaining as payments are now being collected from each of the houses that have been built allowing for the purchase of materials for the next home.
After applying three times previously, Jennifer Waters family has been selected for home number eleven, "I think the second time we were turned down was the hardest, because we also lost my son who passed away that year. Then the following year my other son's school called Susan Hatch and asked them to give us an application and we decided to try once more and the third time we were excepted," said an excited Waters.
Reflecting on the last decade Hatch acknowledged those who helped get the local Habitat affiliate off the ground, "Barry and Marta Eldridge are the ones who really got it all started. We came to the Peninsula in 1991 and they had already gotten started. We call them our Founding Parents. But there have been so many people and businesses that have been involved if I start mentioning them individually, I'm sure I'll leave someone out," said Hatch. No one was left out however, at the 10th Anniversary Celebration where Bob Favretto, Duane Bannock and crew manning the Enstar Grill, had enough hamburgers and hot dogs for everyone.
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