Habitat for Humanity house ready for new owners

It has taken not just a village, but also a college, an Eagle Scout, church and youth groups, several unions, and scores of volunteers to complete Habitat for Humanity’s latest build. On Saturday, December 5th, Mike and Leeanne Teufel will receive the keys to their new home at 30 Chestnut Street. Volunteers have been constructing the home since May.On Christmas, Mike and Leeanne will celebrate around the tree in their three-bedroom, fully handicapped accessible home with their two boys, age 3 and 9. Teufel, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a prosthetic leg, said he has been in and out of a wheelchair for the past seven to eight years. An addictions counselor, Teufel said he is excited that his new home has the entry ramp, wider doorways and other accommodations he will need in his wheelchair.“It’s really great how everyone has been helping out,” said Conor Robertson, a student at New York Chiropractic College. “It’s awesome!” Robertson served as a liaison between the college and Habitat, keeping students informed about what work was needed to be done and recruiting teams of volunteers. He came to most of the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday work sessions, helping construction co-chair Bryan MacIntyre. “I feel it’s part of our duty to give back,” Robertson explained.Janette Seamans agreed. As she sanded and primed walls for painting on her fifth Habitat project, Janette, age 75, explained, “They finally got to a spot where they could use a little old lady, so here I am.” She was joined by Susan Souhan and George Nogel, also faithful volunteers. Souhan and Seamans sanded and painted while Nogel manned the saws and tape measures to be sure everything was square and neat.The professionals also pitched in to make the home a reality: A volunteer crew from NYSEG showed up with backhoes and shovels to install the gas lines. Scott Horton operated the machine under the guidance of Dennis Reynolds, gas chief, and Dan Bailey, gas fitter. Adam Olschewske of Marshall Exteriors volunteered his workers to put the roof on the home, completing the task in one day. Cory Bunn and her fellow workers from IBEW #840 installed all the electrical wiring, placing the master panel at proper height for Mike’s wheelchair.“We appreciate all our volunteers and sponsors who give generously of their time, skills and resources to invest in Habitat and our local communities,” said Habitat President Karen Simon. “Each time Habitat For Humanity Seneca County has the opportunity to complete a build and sell the home to a deserving family, it provides a safe and secure environment to raise a family. In many ways it strengthens neighborhoods and the larger community.”Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build homes or renovate existing homes to create decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. Mortgage payments received by the affiliate are used to build more homes.Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County, NY, is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people.Habitat in Seneca County was established in 1999. The group has built or renovated 14 homes. Habitat has tentatively identified projects in Seneca Falls and Waterloo.

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