The sound of nails being hammered recently filled the air in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas Center.
The sound was joined by saws cutting pieces of wood. Volunteers stacked the wood in piles in front of the saws. Those piles were then used by the volunteers swinging the hammers to form the walls of a house.
The walls will eventually turn into the first home built by the Dallas County Habitat for Humanity. While the house will be located in Perry, the walls were built during a panel build on Aug. 4 in Dallas Center.
“The purpose and the intent of this being a county-wide effort is that we keep the whole county engaged. It's good for the whole area to be involved,” said Omar Padilla, outreach director for Dallas County Habitat for Humanity.
Volunteers from the First Presbyterian Church in Dallas Center joined other volunteers from around the county in the panel build on Saturday, Aug. 4.
“This is amazing,” said JoAnne Ramaeker, a member of the Dallas County Habitat steering committee, as she stepped back to look at the progress of a wall being built.
“These walls are going in to an actual house. Being able to put it together and seeing these families who are going to benefit from it, it's incredible,” Raemaker said.
Padilla said two Perry families have been accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program. Those families then must put in a certain amount of sweat equity, take classes and save up a certain amount of money for a down payment.
“If these two families are successful in going through the program, when we finish the construction of the house, whichever family is ready to purchase will get that opportunity,” Padilla said.
Both of those families were on hand for the panel build. Tausha Warriner loved seeing everyone come together as a community to help possibly build her house.
The finished house will either go to Warriner and her four-year-old son, or to Barb Snyder and her three kids, ages 10, 7 and 5.
“It's overwhelming how many people are willing to come out and help my family to get a home,” Snyder said. “It's just amazing and overwhelming. I don't know that they know what it means to me or Tausha.”
Padilla added that the Dallas County Habitat owns five lots in Perry. Two of those lots will be used for the houses for either Warriner or Snyder, if they complete the program.
Progress has started on one of the homes as the walls were built during the panel build in Dallas Center. Those walls, Padilla said, will then be stored in Perry until the foundation is dug and the walls can be stood up.
The plan is to dedicate the house in early spring or summer of 2019. From there, Padilla hopes to expand the house-building program to more communities in the county.
He said a Dallas County Habitat affiliate used to build houses on-site years ago. The house being built for Perry through the panel build will be the first house for this version of Dallas County Habitat for Humanity.
The group has previously done home repair projects in Perry, Adel, Dallas Center, Redfield and more throughout the county.
“This is really the first time that we are starting to do new home construction,” Omar said. “I want people to get excited about it. I want to make it as open and welcoming to anyone who wants to be involved in building these houses and helping people achieve home ownership as possible.”
For more information on how to volunteer, go to http://dallascountyhabitat.org.