The mission of Lakes Region Habitat is to eliminate substandard housing in the world by working in partnership with people in need to build simple, decent, affordable housing.  The houses are then sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

Founded in 1982
Serving all of New Hampshire's Lakes Region, including:
Center Harbor

Home Recipients in Franklin
Grateful for Volunteers

Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity 
builds house for handicapped family

By ED PIERCE | The Citizen Jun 01, 2014

FRANKLIN — The first handicap accessible home built by volunteers from the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity was officially dedicated and blessed Saturday afternoon at 38 Dearborn St. in Franklin.

Checking in at about 1,300 square feet, the three-bedroom, two bath, super-insulated residence will be home to Robert and Kelly Soboslai, their son Robert Jr., and Kelly's mother, Barbara Emerson. Kelly suffers from muscular dystrophy and her mother is legally blind.

"Our mission with Habitat for Humanity is to work in partnership with God and people everywhere, for all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which every person can experience God’s love and can live and grow into all that God intends,” said Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity President Krysten Adel. "The ultimate goal is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the face of the earth by building adequate and basic housing.”

The Soboslai family had been living in an apartment at Franklin Plantations, but it was not handicap accessible and presented an array of unique challenges. They first applied to Habitat for Humanity more than five years ago.

Habitat for Humanity's Wayne Hackett served as project manager and said the home is one of the most insulated and energy efficient structures he's been involved with.

"That will make this affordable house even more affordable," Hackett said.

Donations and volunteer labor also helped to hold down the project's costs and the City of Franklin partnered with Habitat for Humanity to construct a turnaround at the end of Dearborn Street so work trucks could get in and out of the area easily.

BISHOP ROBERT HIRSCHFELD of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, center, performs a house blessing at 38 Dearborn St. in Franklin for the Soboslai family on Saturday. The home was constructed by volunteers from the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity over the last year.

Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity received a grant of $30,000 from the Federal Loan Bank in Boston to build the home for the Soboslais through the Affordable Housing Program. The grants support initiatives that serve very low to moderate income households in communities.

Adel said the family was able to pick out the carpeting, flooring, cabinets, counters and paint.

She thanked Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity board members Jason Hicks, Benny Popek, Hackett, Rob Wichland, Lauren Milligan, Lee Vormelker, Hazel Gaudet, and Jeremy Mills.  "This house took a lot of hands and a lot of volunteers to build," Adel said. This would not have been possible though without Wayne Hackett taking the lead and being on site all the time to meet with contractors and organize volunteers."

Adel also praised Marilyn Deschenes, former president of Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity, for her tireless efforts on this and many other projects.

"She has helped so many people," Adel said. "Marilyn was on site quite a bit volunteering as well as processing checks, picking up supplies and making sure that all subs were paid. Marilyn wears many hats and has left me big shoes to fill.

"I would like to recognize a couple of other very important volunteers that made this build possible," she said. "The first would be our general contractor, John Robinson. He owns Wood & Clay Inc., a family-owned and operated unique construction company out of Gilford."

His expertise and contacts in the field helped in the construction of this home, which is the 32nd house constructed by the group since 1982, according to Adel.

"I would also like to recognize Eric Sargent from Mountain Top Builders," Adel said. "Eric worked closely with John to help complete this build and we couldn’t have done it without you."

She also gave credit to Meredith Village Savings Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston for their support and funding in making the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity so successful.

"We appreciate every single person that spent time on this project, no matter how much or little time," Adel said. "Your support and belief in what Habitat stands for is what allows Habitat to continue to build affordable housing."

Bishop Robert Hirschfeld of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire blessed each room in the home and said he was deeply moved by the project.

"I don't get to do too many of these since I became bishop," Hirschfeld said. "This is an amazing family that is so devoted and caring and so filled with God's light.

"This image of a new community is that it takes a neighborhood to make a home," Hirschfeld said. "When we show up for each other, it is God's work."

Wiping away tears as she thanked all of the volunteers from the Lakes Region Habitat for Humanity, Kelly Soboslai said her entire family is extremely grateful for what was done for them.

"I have no words that can summarize what I am feeling at this moment," she said. "It is just beyond expression."