By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO September 28, 2001 Dee Fields and her four children cannot wait until they can move into their new home.
They hope to be living in their one-story, four-bedroom residence on Lawrence Street in Monticello in the coming months.
They already have their room picked out, Fields said of her children. They are very excited and cant wait until the house is done.
Fields own excitement was apparent in her voice as she spoke last Saturday morning while taking a break from nailing pieces of vinyl siding to her future home.
Once its completed, the Fields home will be the first residence built from the foundation up by the Sullivan County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
One of the chapters board members, Judy Brennan, was among those volunteers helping to side the home and complete inside framing and electrical work last weekend.
This is the first one we have ever built, and we originally wanted to have it finished about a year ago, Brennan said. Progress has been slow because we need more volunteers to help.
Among those working on the house with Brennan and Fields were Jim Smith, Mike Roosa, Greg Marino and Dan Masterson, his wife Linda Thompson and their daughter Erin. Smith, a Narrowsburg resident, has carpentry experience, and he and Marino, of Shohola, Pa., were overseeing the siding work.
Roosa was utilizing his electrical expertise inside to install light fixtures and electrical outlets, while Masterson and Thompson were busy siding the back of the house.
While very appreciative of their efforts, Brennan noted that even more volunteers would be welcomed.
We hope to finish the siding today, and a furnace will soon be installed in the basement so we can work inside over the winter months, Brennan said. The next thing we need are volunteers with plumbing and heating experience.
In an effort to find volunteers and make more county residents aware of its very existence, the Sullivan County chapter opened a booth at the Fall Garden Harvest Market in Bethel. In an effort to raise needed funds, the chapter is selling raffle tickets for a quilt at that booth.
(Brennan noted that the booth is where Masterson and Thompson learned about the organization the previous Sunday and then agreed to volunteer their time.)
Fields own contributions to the construction of the house are measured through Habitat for Humanitys Sweat Equity program. To be eligible to move into the home, Fields must compile about 800 hours of Sweat Equity.
Brennan explained that Fields sweat equity includes working on the home as well as attending parenting courses through Habitat for Humanity. The organization also holds the 20-year mortgage on the house, and Fields will make monthly, interest-free payments on the mortgage.
At the end of those two decades, Fields will own her residence free and clear.
The next house the Sullivan Habitat for Humanity chapter plans to construct is in the Village of Liberty.
And Brennan and her fellow Habitat members would welcome any and all volunteers for that project as well as to finish the soon-to-be Fields residence. For more information or to volunteer, call 292-7832.