The Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity will be breaking ground on its 10th home May 23.
The house will be the third the organization has built in Morris and the second in its first subdivision, Hancock Page, named after its founding members Randy Hancock and Janet Page.
The house is being constructed on the old papermill property on North Street in Morris, next door to the first house of the subdivision completed for the Cox family in January.
“It’s very exciting. When (we) went out to take pictures, the Cox family next door came out and welcomed them,” said Julie Wood, president of the local Habitat for Humanity.
“You can just see how it’s going to develop into a community and how they’re going to be supportive of one another,” she said.
The groundbreaking will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the location on the 900 block of east North Street in Morris. A picnic will follow.
Rey Mercado of Morris and his two daughters were selected by the organization through an application process. They received about 25 completed applications, said Julie Wilkinson, resource development committee chairwoman for Habitat for Humanity.
This is the most applicants they have ever received, she said.
Habitat for Humanity works with low-income families to build homes and provide no-interest mortgages.
As part of the deal, the families perform labor on their own homes and help with the construction of other homes.
The city of Morris purchased five acres of the paperboard property from Grundy County in April 2009. It is in agreement with Habitat for Humanity to sell the lots to the organization as it has funding available.
“We are definitely very happy,” said Mayor Richard Kopczick. “They built one house on Benton a few years ago, but the biggest problem has been finding more properties in the city of Morris.”
He said it was great to see the organization was able to raise enough funds already to purchase the next lot and begin construction for a Morris family.
Mercado works at Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet, and is also a certified senior rigger, which allows him to pack parachutes used by pilots and skydivers, according to a press release from Habitat for Humanity. He is a long-time resident of Morris.
His daughters, 10-year-old Willow and 12-year-old Marina, are excited to not have to share a room anymore once their new home is built, according to the release.
The house is going to be 1,100 square-feet and have a one-car garage. It is expected to cost about $90,000 and will be constructed with donations from area businesses, individuals, churches and civic groups, as well as with donated and discounted materials from local contractors.
Families who receive a home from Habitat for Humanity are required to contribute 400 hours of “sweat equity” toward the construction of their house and at fundraising events.
To donate to the Mercado home direct donations to Grundy -Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, 105 E. Main St., Suite 202, Morris, Il 60450.