Habitat for Humanity celebrates first house of 2024

News Tribune/Mavis Chan
Megan Procter stands still as attendees at her new home's dedication ceremony bless her. Her house is River City Habitat for Humanity's first completed house of this year.
News Tribune/Mavis Chan Megan Procter stands still as attendees at her new home's dedication ceremony bless her. Her house is River City Habitat for Humanity's first completed house of this year.

Megan Procter knows Habitat for Humanity's homeownership program.

"She had our hearts," said the nonprofit's Executive Director, Susan Cook.

Procter's mother and brother lived in a house built by Habitat for Humanity. Her brother was quadriplegic, so their mother cared for him, Procter said. She later moved into that house as well. However, after both her mother and brother passed away, the house got sold.

"I gave up the home we were renting for some years," Procter said. "When my mother's house was sold, we didn't have a home anymore."

That was a few years ago, Cook said. After that happened, Procter applied for the nonprofit's program herself, put in around 350 sweat-equity hours mostly by volunteering at the organization's Restore, and finally received the keys to her new home.

The nonprofit held a home dedication ceremony Thursday evening 902 Montana St. From now on, Procter and her two sons will live in the three-bedroom house.

During the ceremony, various local groups and businesses, such as the Jefferson City Area Board of Realtors and Zonta Club, presented Procter with various gifts. They included a doormat, a laundry basket full of household items, books and quilts.

This house is the housing nonprofit's first completed project in 2024, Cook said. Unlike some other houses built by the organization, this property was a recycled house. The site originally hosted another Habitat for Humanity house, but the homeowner gave that back to the nonprofit in around 2021.

"We tore it down to the studs and rebuilt it," Cook said. "It's been one of those houses that we were just sitting on, waiting for the right family."

Apart from volunteers, students from the Nichols Career Center also helped construct this house. A total of 25 students contributed to multiple parts of the construction, helping with the siding, insulation, painting and building the decks and doors, among other tasks, said Brandon Kempker, the center's building trades instructor.

"Our volunteers started (the process), and then (the students) came in and did a lot of the finishing of (the construction). Then, our volunteers stepped back in again," Cook said. "It's been a back and forth."

Standing in the newly built house, Procter said she felt "very excited, very happy, very blessed."

"I don't think any of those words really explain it, though," she added.

In her remarks to attendees of the ceremony, Procter thanked the nonprofit for choosing and helping her along the way. She also thanked Kempker and his students for helping build the house.

"They didn't build a house, they built a home," she said. "This is the place we're going to come to and kick our shoes off after a long day."

photo Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune Megan Procter, the recipient of a new home from Habitat For Humanity, welcomes the community to an open house Thursday afternoon.
photo Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune Habitat for Humanity ReStore Manager Matt Sullentrup brings in donations for the new Habitat for Humanity build Thursday at an open house.
photo Alexa Pfeiffer/News Tribune Friends and family gather at the new Habitat for Humanity build for a ceremony handing the house over to the new owner, Megan Procter.

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