BEN BOLT - Care-a-vanners and volunteers began the 14th Habitat for Humanity home in Ben Bolt for the Molina family on Tuesday.

Construction is expected to last about three weeks with weather permitting. "The volunteers are great and they could probably build this house in their sleep," Barrera-Rycroft said.

The Jim Wells County chapter of Habitat for Humanity was in Ben Bolt Sunday to bless its latest home site. At the time of the blessing there was only the cement foundation with the drain lines, water lines and the anchor bolts to which the walls will be secured.

On hand for the blessing were local chapter Chairwoman Nora Barrera-Rycroft as well as board members Paul Rycroft, Mike Saldivar, Cliff Hammock, Richard Joslin and Michael Bishop. Also in attendance were several of the Habitat for Humanity volunteer builders who have come from out of Texas to lend their labor to the project.

Deacon Emede Gonzalez from St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Alice, Texas conducted the blessing on the foundation, the volunteers, and the family to whom the house will go to when it is completed. The blessing consisted of prayers, a recitation of the Lord's Prayer, and sprinkling of holy water on the foundation and those in attendance.

This is the 14th house that the Jim Wells County chapter has built and will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a carport with an exterior laundry room. It is being built on land that was donated by the recipient, Savanna Molina. Molina plans to live there with her two children, Jeremy and Hanna.

According to Barrera-Rycroft, the house will not be free. Prospective homeowners apply for the home and if they meet the requirements then they will be able to move forward. If they do not own land, then a suitable site will be found and added to the cost. However if the applicant is a landowner, they can choose to donate their land to Habitat for Humanity so their home can be built on it.

"They aren't given the house for free but are buying it for the cost of materials with no interest on a 20-year mortgage. They are actually given two mortgages with the second being a normal 20-year mortgage for the full appraised value with interest." said Barrera-Rycroft. She stated that with consistent, on-time payments of the first mortgage that balance of the second mortgage would be forgiven up to the total amount of the mortgage. The average payment is $550 a month, which includes the mortgage and property taxes.

The house will be sold at the cost of materials without any labor added in, this is why there is a need for volunteers.

Barrera-Rycroft also added, "if anyone wants to volunteer they can just come to the job site and ask to help. They usually work till 3 p.m. and we can always use extra hands or if someone wants to donate meals for the workers they can."

For more information on volunteering or applying, call Nora Barrera-Rycroft at (361)701-5907 or online at the official Habitat for Humanity website at www.habitat.org.