19th Habitat home here nearing finish
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- In roughly six weeks, the Kirkendolls will move into their new home at 904 Broadway in Niles.
Their new home is the latest of a total of 19 Habitat For Humanity houses to be built in Niles and Buchanan by the Niles-Buchanan Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity builds houses with those in need and then sells the houses to the homeowner- partners.
Because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage payments can be kept reasonable to those unable to obtain conventional financing for a home.
Each adult is required to invest 250 hours of sweat equity during the construction period.
Two members of the family, aided by Habitat volunteers, worked at the new home on Saturday.
Having lived with her family and husband in a three bedroom town house at Briar Crest Apartments in Niles for 14 years, Linda said the family is looking forward to the move.
Their new home also has three bedrooms, but the main difference from their town house is that the new home has a full basement that will greatly expand the family's living space.
Linda, who works at Concord Custom Cleaners and J. Jireh hair salon in Niles, is married to Rodney Kirkendoll Sr.
He works at Target in Mishawaka, Ind.
The two have three children together and are members of the Word of Truth Deliverancy Ministry in Benton Harbor.
Their oldest child, Nashawn, graduated from Niles High School this year and wants to move to Detroit to pursue a military career.
Rodney Jr., will start high school this year, while their middle child, Kyla, will be a high school sophomore.
Moving into the new home before all of her children graduated from high school means Linda will have one of her wishes in life fulfilled.
Linda, however, wasn't the only family member busy at work Saturday.
Rodney Jr., who eventually wants to get into engineering, has put in a lot of hours since work on the family's future home started in early May.
He likes to contribute because of the varied work he has been able to do. far.
As a teen-ager, he, like his mother, is looking forward to moving into a new home, but perhaps for different reasons than his mother.
Don Severeid has been a Habitat volunteer for eight years.
He said most of the outside work on the new home is done, but a lot of small things remains to be done inside.
He said usually 15-20 people volunteer on any given weekend when a new habitat home is built.
Severeid, like the other volunteers is grateful for donations received from the community.
He said lots of local businesses have donated material and local churches, Subway and Pizza Hut have provided food.
President of Niles-Buchanan Habitat, Joan Schmidt, said the new home is coming together really quickly.
Having been a Habitat president in Illinois previously, she is impressed with the quality of the trades people who volunteer here.
She also said the Habitat here has a lot of support from the local community.
Habitat, almost done with this year's home, are currently taking applications for next year's home.
Schmidt said Habitat are looking at building in Buchanan next year.
For more information about the application procedure, or to receive an application call 687-1672.