CRESTVIEW — A year-long Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County campaign is poised to benefit a number of families.
Proceeds from Miles of Quarters, the $300,000 Pave the Way Home campaign's first fundraiser, will help construct a road and provide utilities for a future Crestview neighborhood.
"Since we need to raise the funds for the infrastructure — meaning the power, water and sewer lines, the fire hydrant, curbs and the road itself — we came up with 'Pave the Way Home,' because without the road the homes cannot be built," Melissa Litscher, Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County’s Community Outreach director, said. "So to enable families to get 'home,' we need to pave the way. The 'Miles of Quarters' is just one of the fundraisers we will have to help move this campaign forward.
"We continue to build homes on land we currently own and that are already on accessible property, so home sponsors are always welcome."
The dedication of home 59 in Okaloosa County took place in December in Crestview, and volunteers raised the first walls of home 60 on Jan. 2.
Gulf Power is sponsoring construction of home 60, located on Lincoln Street in Crestview. Some of the families helping in its construction are building "sweat equity," and may later be able to help construct their own homes through Habitat Okaloosa.
The housing will benefit more than just families who live there, according to Litscher.
"Communities are improved by adding to the tax rolls; parents are more involved in the schools, churches and civic organizations in communities where they own a home," she said. "Students of homeowners are more stable, less likely to have teenage pregnancy and more likely to graduate high school and go beyond in their education.
"These students typically have fewer discipline issues at school and are more involved in extracurricular activities."
Anyone interested in helping Habitat Okaloosa County can go to www.habitatfwb.org, its Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 315-0025.