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Habitat completes 20th home

January 31, 2014 - 4:38pm

Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii held the home blessing ceremony for its 20th home Jan. 28. The new homeowner and Habitat partner family is Jim Helfenbein, a veteran living in Ocean View. Helfenbein has lived on the island for about 30 years, but now has a place to call his own.

In attendance at the blessing were Habitat staff members, neighbors, volunteers who worked on the house or provided food during build days, and most importantly, some of his closest friends.

The mortgage deed was then presented to Helfenbein. As a partner family, he will make his monthly mortgage payments to Habitat. Those mortgage payments go into Habitat for Humanity’s revolving fund — meaning the money goes toward building the next house. He is essentially paying it forward for the next family to own a home.

Deacon Sandy Honnold blessed the home, walking through each room with Helfenbein. Volunteers were recognized, and Helfenbein thanked everyone for being a part of this experience with him. Helfenbein has worked alongside Habitat staff and volunteers on the construction of his home since May. As part of the Habitat model, he fulfilled his required 500 sweat equity hours, highlighting the partnership.

Habitat is preparing to build in Kona, Waikoloa, Napoopoo, and complete repair work in Waimea this year. Many volunteers, food donation, and helping hands will be needed. To learn more or become involved in upcoming projects, contact Erin Stephens at or call 331-8010.

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