Habitat working on home in Huntingburg

Christine Stephenson/The Herald
Eddie Armstrong of Huntingburg works on his future home alongside students in the Vincennes University Jasper and Patoka Valley School Cooperative partnership Wednesday. The Armstrong family will have their own home built by spring 2022 through Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County. "It's one of the best programs out there," Eddie said.


HUNTINGBURG — Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County is putting in work to have another home built by spring 2022.

Groundbreaking for the home in Huntingburg was in late August and crews just recently finished the foundation slab, Habitat Executive Director Michael Richard said. The organization also recently kicked off its fundraising campaign to ensure that it can continue to build more homes in the future.

The home will go to the Armstrong family of Huntingburg — Eddie and Rebecca and their children, Aliek and Trystan. Eddie and Rebecca have been together for 24 years and have lived in Dubois County for 15 years.

“They’re a very deserving family,” Richard said. “They’ve always wanted to be able to own a home, but it was something they thought they’d never be able to achieve.”

The Armstrongs have been very involved with the building process so far, Richard said. Out of the required 300 hours of sweat equity to help build the home, they’ve already put in 100 hours.

Rebecca works at Casey’s and Eddie is semi-retired and mows grass at a local church. Trystan is a football player at Southridge High School and enjoys fishing in his free time. Aliek enjoys band, swimming and spending time with friends.

Eddie has spent a lot of time working with the students who are helping build the home through the continued partnership with the Patoka Valley School Cooperative and Vincennes University Jasper.

"I've been out here every day," Eddie said while working on the house Wednesday. "I figure if (the students) are putting in the work, then I should be, too."

Habitat has already received several donations from companies and individuals but is still in need of help, especially with the dramatic increase in building material costs and acquisition expenses. The organization budgeted an estimated 30% increase in material costs this time around, Richard said.

The goal of the fundraising campaign is to raise $100,000, which is likely a little less than the cost to build the house. About $20,000 has been raised so far, Richard said.

The campaign is themed on sponsorships of wooden boards. Anyone who donates gets a wooden board that they can write their signatures or messages to the family, and then the boards will be used in the construction of the home.

Richard also emphasized that every dollar donated through the campaign goes directly to the home build.

“It’s not being shipped out of the county or anything,” he said. "One hundred percent of the donation goes toward a Dubois County family.”

Habitat is also always in need of volunteers, Richard said, although there is a bigger need for behind-the-scenes help than the construction itself.

“Lots of people want to come and swing a hammer and build a house, but with the trade school program right now, we don’t have as many opportunities for them,” he said. “We need volunteers to help with outreach and fundraising and on boards and committees.”

This is Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County’s 26th year and 19th home build, with hopefully another home build beginning later in 2022, Richard said. The need for stable housing in Dubois County will always be present, he said, so the organization aims to help for as long as it can.

“These people aren’t getting handouts, they’re getting a hand up,” he said. “They’re part of these communities — Jasper, Huntingburg and everywhere else — and they’re just looking for the opportunity to be able to have reliable shelter.”

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