New Habitat home in the works

<p>The rain didn't stop Darla and Louis Perez from checking out the start of their new home Saturday morning as Wolf River Habitat for Humanity officially broke ground for the project.</p><p>"I'm at a loss for words. It's been about a year since they picked us, and to come over here and see it finally under way, it's exciting and emotional," Louis Perez said.</p><p>The home, at 1219 S. Lafayette St., will be Wolf River Habitat for Humanity's 11th house. Several board members and other officials were on hand Saturday morning for the ceremony for the Perez home. The foundation and basement were done before the official ceremony.</p><p>"We came out here the other day with the kids, and they didn't understand it; they thought we were going to be living in the basement," Darla Perez said.</p><p>The Perez family -- Louis, Darla and their three children -- will put in 500 hours of sweat equity to build their home, partnering with local construction volunteers and the Building and Trades class at Shawano Community High School.</p><p>"This started a year ago with a pretty rigorous selection process in selecting the family," said Kevin Culhane, president of Wolf River Habitat for Humanity. "We evaluated about 30 families that applied and chose the Perez family, so they've been putting in hours on fundraisers and helping with our past house."</p><p>Culhane pointed out that the house is not a gift or a handout.</p>

By Cory Dellenbach
Project is 11th for Wolf River group
<p>"It's a hand up, they invest in the home, it's their home," Culhane said.</p><p>Louis plans to be at the house every day along with other volunteers.</p><p>Wolf River Habitat for Humanity, which began in 1998, is a nonprofit ecumenical Christian housing ministry working to bring affordable housing to Shawano and Menominee counties. Partner families hold an interest-free mortgage that is repaid over 20 to 30 years to the local Habitat affiliate. These monthly payments are then used to build more houses for additional families.</p><p>Wolf River Habitat for Humanity is supported by sales at its local ReStore on East Richmond Street, public donations of usable household items for the store, construction materials, cash and/or labor.</p><p>For more information about the local Habitat affiliate, visit or call 715-524-3007.</p>
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