Habitat for Humanity of Iowa Blitz Build now in progress
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa began its five-day Rebuild Marshalltown Blitz Build on Tuesday. The homes being repaired were all damaged in the July 2018 tornado.
Executive Director Lisa Houser said 35-40 homes will be rebuilt during this time, with 100-150 volunteers expected to show up each day.
“We have 30 houses lined up that have mid to significant damage and 10 to 15 that need landscaping only,” she said.
Volunteers from all over Iowa have converged, offering sweat equity.
“I work at Emerson, so they basically had the whole company be able to take a day off,” volunteer Jill Wellman said. “I’ve never done this, so I was really excited to get to come and do my part. I’m not from here — I’m from Altoona — and I didn’t get a chance to help right after the tornado, so I came now.”
Habitat is using St. Henry Catholic Church, 211 W. Olive St., as its base location for volunteers to meet up each day for supplies, to register and regroup. A dedication ceremony thanking the workers will take place at the church at 8:20 a.m. Friday. Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg will be in attendance.
Rosa Marroquin and her husband Rigoberto Martinez own one of the houses being repaired — 18 N. 10th Ave. Marroquin, her husband and two children were in the house during the tornado.
“Everything was torn down — trees and cables were down,” she said. “I feel happy with the help I’m getting from the tornado. We couldn’t do (the work) without them.”
Site Manager Kylie Groenenboom said the house’s siding is being redone, the front deck and stairs rebuilt and the interior and exterior of the home repainted.
“I grew up in Marshalltown. I live in Waukee now, but my mom and brother live here,” volunteer Lane Vellinga said. “I wanted to come out and help my hometown somehow.”
A sum of $460,000 was raised to put together a Habitat for Humanity mobile unit for one year’s time in Marshalltown. The financial breakdown is as follows: $100,000 through the IEDA; Corporation for National and Community Service – $196,002 (this was passed through IEDA); $100,000 from Iowa Finance Authority; $25,000 from Alliant Energy; First Congregational Church of Marshalltown: $25,000 given for the team and $75,000 given for materials; remaining amount is from smaller donations from the community.
Habitat has set a goal of raising $1 million to cover the cost of the building supplies.
Suite 180 in the City Centre, 16 E. Main St., is where Habitat staff have set up day-to-day operations.
The goal is to rebuild 100 total homes in 2019.
Rebuilding is done through zero interest loans, and repayment is on a sliding scale basis.
To make a donation visit www.iowahabitat.org/donate
To learn more about volunteer opportunities email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, Habitat’s main office may be reached at 515-266-6886.
Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at