After three months, Habitat for Humanity has selected their newest Habitat Partner Family: Kelly Katen and her two children.
By Jordan Wolfe
“This will be the first time that Samantha and Lucas and I will have our own home and we are so excited,” said Katen.
A Tillamook resident since 2007, Katen said she has shared housing with around eight families. The family will be moving into the first Habitat home within central Tillamook.
“Selecting a family is no easy task,” said Debbie Carr, new Habitat board president, “Families need to show, not only a need for adequate housing, but an ability to pay their monthly mortgage and a willingness to partner with Habitat through volunteer work known as sweat equity.” Carr added Katen met all requirements, but ultimately the fact they were the only homeless family applying set her apart from the other 21 applicants. “They were unable to find stable housing and, therefore, living with friends on a temporary basis.”
Katen was notified in early June that they were the next Habitat Family.
“I was so excited and overwhelmed with happiness when Cami [Aufdermauer] announced the decision,” said Katen, “I am so grateful to all the people who serve and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and helped to make the decision to select my family.”
Cami Aufdermauer, executive director for Tillamook’s Habitat for Humanity, said building homes for families in need would not be possible without the donation of time, resources and funding from community members.
“We are walking into a season where we feel called to accelerate our ability to address a wider range of housing issues and serve more families in Tillamook County,” she said.
Once construction, slated to begin in July, is complete, Katen and her children will be able to move in, according to Aufdermauer. The home is Habitat’s first remodel, instead of building a new house from scratch, and is located in the old Habitat for Humanity office building.
For Katen, her experience will allow her to be a support for future Habitat families, according to Carr.
“Being a Habitat home owner is a lifelong commitment to a mission greater than yourself,” Carr said. “It’s choosing to be a part of the culture and family of Habitat by providing continual support and encouragement to new families during their home ownership process. Our goal is that every newly selected family will be partnered with a Habitat home owner that can be a family support person on their new journey.”
Aufdermauer added, “Working in partnership with families during their homeownership journey means that we get to be the hands and feet of Christ. We get to build not only homes, but relationships with each family member as we work towards the Habitat vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Katen said she is excited about her future relationship with Habitat for Humanity.
“My family is so thrilled about the prospect of co-partnering with an organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes in our community.”
For more information, contact Cami Aufdermauer at 503-842-7472.