TOQUERVILLE, Utah – After 10 months of very hard labor, six local families will come together to celebrate the completion of their new homes Monday Aug. 14.
As part of the Mutual Self-Help Program, the families have been building their own homes together, providing 65 percent or more of the labor needed to construct the houses. The program, and a lot of sweat equity, allows families who could not otherwise afford a new home achieve their dream of home ownership.
“Without this program, we would never have been able to be in a home like this,” Jared Jones said. Jones is a CrossFit instructor; he and his family are the proud owners of a new home in LaVerkin.
The group of six families worked together to build each other’s houses – four in Toquerville and two in LaVerkin. During the process, the families have learned how to frame, roof, paint, install plumbing and cabinetry, and more.
In the process, the group has built life-long bonds. Each family works on every other family’s house – for at least 35 hours every week – and no one can move in until every home is finished.
“We have enjoyed getting to know each family,” new homeowner Danielle Clyde said. “We each come from very different backgrounds and each have different stories to tell but in the end, we all have one common goal and that is to work together as a team to help each other achieve our dream of building and owning a home.”
Adults in the group of families range from 25 to 40 years old; between the six families there are 22 children who now get to live in new homes. Members of the group come from diverse backgrounds, work a variety of occupations and include a resort manager, a registered nurse who works with hospice patients, a teacher and a CrossFit instructor.
“We have learned so much through this process and many of the skills that we have been taught are things that will benefit us greatly in the future,” Clyde said. “We are so grateful for a program like this that makes it possible for families like ours to be able to have a home we can call our own and to be able to say that we did 65% of the work makes it that much more special.”
The families’ new homes are three-bedroom, two-bathroom with approximately 1,500 square feet of finished living space in addition to a full, unfinished basement or a second-floor bonus room.
As of the end of July, 7,984 total hours had been logged in the construction of the six houses. Only 724 of those hours were from outside volunteers; the rest came from the families themselves.
“It has not been easy and there have been many difficult and trying times but we all know that this is temporary,” Clyde said. “We realize what the result will be and for us that is enough motivation to keep up the hard work. “
The public is invited to join in the celebration, tour the homes and find out more about the Mutual Self-Help program and how to apply or volunteer.
Self-Help Homes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization based in Provo; the organization has facilitated more than 400 homes throughout Utah through its Mutual Self-Help Housing program.
Self-Help Homes is continually seeking qualified applicants. For more information about the Mutual Self-Help Housing and the upcoming availability of lots in Southern Utah, contact Self-Help Homes by phoning 801-375-2205 Ext. 111 and ask for Halie. Or, visit the nonprofit organization’s website at www.selfhelphomes.org.
What: Open house celebrating the completion of six homes built through the Mutual Self-Help Housing program.
When: Monday Aug. 14 from 3-5:30 p.m.
Where: 746 S Peachtree Drive in Toquerville. From Interstate 15, take Exit 27 onto state Route 17 and drive towards Toquerville. Once in the town of Toquerville, turn right onto S. Westfield Road, then left onto W. Peachtree Drive. Follow this road as it makes a right turn and becomes S. Peachtree Dr.
Who: The event is free and the public is invited.