Roughly 100 volunteers listen as Hosanna Ministries staff members remind them of the “three S’s” to start the day: safety, sensitivity and spirit.
She had noticed a foundation for a new house in her neighborhood the day before. But now a whole three-bedroom home was taking shape there—in a matter of hours. All the walls were in, the siding was almost complete and roof trusses were reaching skyward.
“I walked down and I saw all these people working,” Smith said. “I think the community would be so proud that they're doing this.”
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The motley collection of volunteers was effectively organized by faith-based Hosanna Ministries into a productive team that managed to complete the framing, wiring, ducts, insulation, siding and more in about eight hours.
“I've read about [Hosanna] and heard about them, but it’s the first time I've been here to witness it,” said Beaver Falls Mayor Karl Boak, who was among those pitching in Tuesday. “Everyone has a job to do, and it’s just that quick. They call it a ‘blitz’ home, and that’s exactly what it is.”
While the house-building itself spans only a week, the vision behind the project has been much longer in the making, according to Dr. John H. White, president emeritus of Geneva College and the spokesman for the Beaver Falls Housing Coalition.
“The dream began a year ago, birthed by Del Goedeker [of McDanel Advanced Ceramic Technologies and the Goedeker Foundation],” White said. “It’s a thrill to see the cooperation and then to see the potential.”
Three additional families are currently undergoing counseling to become qualified for Hosanna homes, White said. The project’s partners are hopeful that two more homes will be built in the next six months for families of low income but good credit scores.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Big Beaver) compared the project to a barn-raising and said it’s “amazing to see what you can do with volunteers.”
“These people are just working for the glory of God, not for any self interest,” Marshall said. “It’s good that the people down here see that somebody cares about their community, and if we didn't see hope for this community we wouldn't build houses here...It’s a new breath of life for this community. Hopefully this will be a catalyst for more things to come.”
Key minds and supporters behind the project include Tiger Pause, Hosanna Industries, Sky Bank, the City of Beaver Falls, Geneva College, Community College of Beaver County, the Goedeker Foundation, McDanel Advanced Ceramic Technologies, Turbo Technologies, Widmer Engineering, Homer 9, the Beaver Initiative for Growth and the Beaver Falls Housing Coalition and volunteers from area churches.
The single mother who will soon move into the home with her children assumed the mortgage on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
“I'm hoping I get to meet all of them,” said Smith, who lives just a block away. “I'm sure I will.”
Dr. Brad Frey, at right, and other volunteers help carry one of the walls of the three-bedroom house.
|Pictured left to right at the home-building site are Tiger Pause Director Matt Nance, State Rep. Jim Marshall, Beaver Falls Mayor Karl Boak and Dr. John H. White (Geneva College president emeritus).|
Geneva prepares students for a wide range of environmental careers through a B.S. degree in environmental science and an engineering concentration in environmental technology.