New Home Dedicated by Habitat for Humanity

By: Barbara Jo Adkins Last Updated: August 15, 2011

Habitat for Humanity dedicated a new home at 408 Morgan Blvd. in Valparaiso on August 14, 2011.  Receiving the new home was Kelly Goodan, along with two of her sons Jake and Cody.

Brian Johnson, President of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity, thanked all in attendance for such a wonderful job getting the home built for Goodan and her family. 

Also on the Board are Larry Brown (Vice President), Bob Buhle (Treasurer), Tom Brown (Family Committee), Tom Barnett (Building Committee), Matt Byerly (Communications). Not able to be in attendance was Bill Wagner and Dean Stolpe.

Johnson thanked the Mayor of Valparaiso, Jon Costas, as well as the City Of Valparaiso, Porter County Career and Technical Center along with Jon Groth, Brian Doane, and all the high school students that participated in building the home, Harry Lowenthal, Luke Harris and Rick Sojka of I.B.E.U. (Independent Brotherhood Electrical Union), Four Season Mechanical, Rick Rivera for the plumbing, Tommy Cleban cement, Jeff Edwards with Garriup for the driveway and walkway, the VU Track Team, "Keith" from the Roofers Union, and Immanuel Lutheran Church for all their hard work and volunteers as well as all of "Kelly's" friends and family.

Johnson added, "It takes about 2,000 volunteer hours to put up a house." After the opening introduction and dedication ceremony Goodan and her sons were presented with a Bible and keys to their new home.

Brent Wagner, the architect, said he's been involved for the last 10 years with Habitat for HumanityWagner said "I wanted to help design affordable, modest quality housing for people."

Wagner also added that when the homes in the communities are designed, careful consideration is given to the surrounding neighborhood stating "This home was built with historical character.  This home is unique and designed specifically for the Banta neighborhood in mind."

Tom Barnett said about the project, "We are non-profit, we mainstream and get people back in a home.  We do urban renewal working in older sections of town and sometimes we even tear down buildings.  This lot was empty, now Valpo has another taxpayer in the neighborhood."

Speaking about the Immanuel Lutheran Volunteers was Tom Brown, a Deacon and volunteer with the church.  Brown spoke of a program the church has, called I.M.A.C.T. (Immanuel Members (practicing) Acts of Caring Together). With this program, men and women in the congregation worked together on the home doing whatever needed to be done.

Goodan's best friend was there for the ceremony and dedication, Alesia GravesGraves said that there is a saying that the two share is "It's always darkest before the sun comes up." Both have gone through difficult times, but both have also saw a "sun" come up- Graves with a new marriage after her former husband passed away and Goodan with the keys to her new home.

To learn more about habitat for Humanity click the link www.portercountyhabitat.org