COLUMBUS – After six months of being the executive director at Habitat for Humanity, Lori Peters has a goal of doubling the number of Habitat houses and land used in Columbus during the upcoming year.
The organization currently has a total of nine lots and the construction of a new home will begin at the end of March. One house is built every year but Peters is working toward doubling that amount.
In order to achieve that goal, the organization needs to overcome the obstacle of having an insufficient amount of volunteers and funding.
Nonetheless, Peters remains optimistic and will be increasing the number of fundraisers this year. At the same time, she declared this year as the recruiting year for volunteers.
The organization will be rearranging its process for construction days while adding smaller-scale projects to attract more volunteers and to better prepare them for upcoming projects.
The smaller projects include building picnic tables, sheds, and food preparation.
Through these smaller projects, Peters hopes to provide new volunteers a feel of how projects are commonly run and to further spark their interests.
“These are people who just want to get started and observe the process but still do a little something,” Peters said.
Another novel initiative the organization is taking this year is the Volunteer Sign Up Night where volunteers and community members can attend to sign up for projects.
The upcoming volunteer sign up is being held from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Dusters Restaurant. Appetizers will be served to those in attendance
Up until today, the floor plans for the houses remained constant but Peters is working on making changes. The changes will be decided by the organization’s construction committee.
“I just want there to be a slightly different floor plan so that not every house is exactly alike,” said Jim Hake, construction manager of Habitat for Humanity.
Peters also wants to acquire more land to possibly conduct a similar project to the New Hope Addition.
“Affordable lots in Columbus are pretty hard to find and they’re going out quickly,” Peters said.
Since the time Peters has held her position, she has reached out to more local businesses and organization for contributions.
“It is a good community service for area businesses,” Peters said.
The Church of Latter-day Saints will be providing its support for the first time this year.
The highlight of Peters’ job is being able to help those in need and to learn their life stories.
Peters recently met the new homeowner for the year who is divorced and homeless with three children.
“The story is just really sad,” Peters said. “So to know that we are going to make a difference in her life and the lives of her three children I think really brought home the importance of Habitat for Humanity.”
Members of the board are pleased with Peters' efforts.
“She really follows through with things to make sure that they get done,” said Chuck Kinnison, safety manager at Habitat for Humanity.