The Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity project going on in Lyle is an amazing endeavor.
A very generous group of volunteers and a strongly supportive community is working on a building plan that will soon provide housing for several area families.
Currently, one house is being built, and that is expected to be completed in August. Yet even before the first house is finished, Habitat for Humanity is already planning to build no fewer than three more homes on the Lyle parcel, which is at Fourth and Washington.
As many as 20 builders have been donating their time on this new home. They've been working under the guidance of Stan Horack, Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity's construction chair.
The support from the community as a whole has been wonderful. The Lyle School District even donated a small swath of land to Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity -- just enough to allow room for a fourth house to fit on the site, instead of the originally projected three houses. Area churches have provided a site for hot meals for the volunteers, as well as providing financial support. Approximately 20 businesses and numerous individuals -- literally too many to name here -- have unselfishly donated supplies, equipment, and services to boost the project.
The Klickitat County Board of Commissioners also has been very supportive, providing grants of $60,000 over a two-year period. And real estate firms in the Gorge also have held fundraising events to support Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity describes itself as a "non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry," in an excerpt from the organization's mission statement. "We seek to eliminate ... homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action."
With the project taking flight in Lyle, the regional Habitat for Humanity chapter is also anticipating building its first home in White Salmon in the near future. Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity President Roger Holen pointed out that the organization holds property on Manly Street, and all the group has been waiting for is water.
So now that the city of White Salmon finally has a few water connections to allocate, we may soon see some "Habitat" building right here in our city as well. It's a welcome endeavor, and everyone involved deserves a lot of praise for assisting in this noble cause.