Franciscan Health Volunteers Team Up with Habitat for Humanity for 2017 Home Build

Franciscan Health Volunteers Team Up with Habitat for Humanity for 2017 Home Build
By: Contributor Last Updated: April 21, 2017

On Friday morning, Habitat For Humanity of Northwest Indiana and Franciscan Health Crown Point partnered together for the first time to complete a home wall build for an upcoming project, continuing their dedication to bettering the lives of others in Northwest Indiana.

Around 60 volunteers from the hospital were expected to participate in the build, which took place at the hospital campus in Crown Point. Volunteers hammered and nailed the structure of a wall for a new home for a family in need based in Lowell, Indiana.

“We are here to build walls for a home that is being built for a struggling family at 240 North Castle Street in Lowell,” said Dawn Michaels, Development Director for Habitat For Humanity of Northwest Indiana. “This is the first project Habitat For Humanity and Franciscan are partnering together for, so we are really excited to be here today.”

Habitat For Humanity was founded in 1976 and since has helped struggling families in poor housing conditions and high rents or mortgages. The nonprofit builds a new home for the family from scratch, leaving the family in a home that is safe, comfortable, and affordable.

“Struggling, working families are basically living paycheck to paycheck, so what Habitat does is offer them a hand up, rather than a hand out,” Michaels explained. “We sell the new home to the family for a zero percent interest mortgage and take the family out of a high rent, substandard living condition.”

The foundation for the new home has already been dug and construction is scheduled to begin May 9th. The construction is expected to last between four and six months. The walls built by the dozens of volunteers Friday morning will be transported to the construction site, where a family in need will not only begin to see a new home being built, but also hope for a better present and future.

“The cool thing about Habitat For Humanity is that when we take families out of these poor living conditions with a high mortgage that they can’t afford, their taxes, mortgages, everything equals around $500 a month,” Michaels explained. “That means that family now has disposable income every month that they never had before. So now they have an opportunity to fix their car, get adequate child care, or put their kids in after school programs that they couldn’t afford before. It’s absolutely cool.”

Kevin DeBraal, Vice President of Administrative Services for Franciscan Health, was one of the volunteers participating in the build Friday morning. His enthusiasm was tangible, since he knew building the walls were for a family in need and an organization in which he has faith.

“We all need to give back to the community in any way we can,” DeBraal said. “I believe in the Habitat For Humanity program, so we do this to benefit our community. Plus, I need the exercise!”

Another volunteer made the build a family affair. Susie McCormick, her husband, Dan, and her daughter, Isabelle, travelled all the way from Frankfurt, Illinois to volunteer today for the first time with Habitat For Humanity, but hopefully not the last.

“My husband works for Franciscan, so we all came out to help this morning,” McCormick said. “I think it’s so important to give back to people in the community and help out where there’s a need. It’s really important to do that when you’re able to.”

Franciscan Health Crown Point and Habitat For Humanity of Northwest Indiana partnered together to help a family in need. With the success of the Friday morning build, the hope for a long-standing partnership between the two organizations was cemented, along with the hope of a better future for a family in need.

For more information about Franciscan Health of Crown Point, go to , and for more information about Habitat For Humanity of Northwest Indiana, visit