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