Habitat elects new officers

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Familiar faces. New jobs. Same mission.

Following selection and election, Osceola County’s Habitat for Humanity organization has seen a few shifts in personnel on the group’s Board of Directors.

With the changes, planners look forward to another year of activity, and hope to continue offering opportunities for “decent and affordable housing” to partner families as they begin the 2011 season.

Roger Elkins will be replacing Pam Wayne as the local HFH board president.

Elkins has been a part of Osceola’s Habitat since its inception, being a charter member of the organization.

Now, he will hold a more active board position following a number of years of strong leadership offered by outgoing president Wayne, who will become the group’s treasurer replacing Lorna Baker-Houseworth.

At this point, the vice-president’s post is still empty, but Elkins anticipates that this job will be filled by the board’s next meeting.

Brad Taylor will continue on as board secretary.

“We always have room for anyone interested in serving in a position on the board or with the organization,” said Elkins. “We have any number of committees that are always open to more volunteers. This is a great way to be part of an important outreach in our area.”

Elkins said that Habitat’s mission has never changed.

“We look forward to providing decent and affordable housing for people in our community,” he pointed out. “There’s no question that there is need for such housing opportunities in our county - and every county in Michigan.

“There have been changes in qualification criteria over the years. Today, we have a much wider group of people we can reach out to and help with home ownership.

“This we hope to continue to do as best we can.”

While there is every intention of continuing with Habitat’s home construction program at some location in Osceola County, plans for a 2011 project are a little scaled back.

A previously constructed Habitat home in the Marion area that has reverted to organizational ownership will be renovated and rehabilitated allowing a new partner family to take over an already constructed property.

At this time, there is as yet no partner family for the Marion project, and the Habitat family selection committee is gearing up for the selection process, (which will be carried out the same as for the process in selecting a family for a new-build home.)

“This home is in the Marion school district and we’re sure to have a number of good families looking for an opportunity such as this who will be applying to our selection committee well before we get started on the project,” noted Elkins.

The new president reported the organization had money in the bank to begin and compete the project once started.

“Still, our fundraising activities are very important as we look to the future and hope to continue the work we do in our county,” he pointed out.

Habitat will be hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day corned beef supper March 12, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Reed City.