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Wichita Habitat For Humanity Builds House During Riverfest

Sean Sandefur
Volunteers work on a Habitat for Humanity build. A refugee family from the Republic of Congo will own the home once it’s installed on Sycamore Street in Delano. ";

Wichita Habitat for Humanity is celebrating its 30th anniversary by building a home at Riverfest.

A combination of 300 volunteers and skilled workers built the 3-bedroom home in just eight days. The house is currently sitting on stilts just south of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and will be moved in the coming weeks to the Delano neighborhood. It is the 208th home to be built by the Wichita chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

A mother and her children, who all fled civil war in the Republic of Congo and were refugees in Uganda for seven years, will be purchasing the home. Ann Fox, executive director for the organization, says that despite the family’s hard journey, they are the definition of joy and faith.

“We are so excited that she’s going to be a member of the Wichita community. We’re so lucky that she’s going to be a member of the Wichita community," Fox says.

Credit Sean Sandefur / KMUW
Habitat for Humanity volunteers work on the interior of the new house being built during the Wichita Riverfest.

Habitat for Humanity has a pay-it-forward model—the organization sells brand-new, interest-free homes to working families who are struggling to buy one on their own, but the family must complete volunteer work at other build sites prior to moving in. Homeowner classes are also required, which cover everything from managing a budget to maintaining an HVAC system.

Fox says that building a house a Riverfest gave the organization great exposure and tested the capabilities of their volunteer base. She says it’s wonderful to know that they can build homes in such a short period of time, which can be very important in the event of emergencies and natural disasters.

The house was funded by corporate and individual sponsors.


Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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