Habitat director describes mission to Hurlock Council

HURLOCK — Nobody describes the mission of Habitat for Humanity Choptank more ardently than Executive Director Nancy Andrew. She updated the Hurlock Council at the Nov. 28 town meeting about the progress of the first home being built in town.

Ms. Andrew said, “Last September we came in front of the Council and Mayor to present our homeowners program. We have talked for many years about building in Hurlock. Our first home is underway on Charles Street.” A ground breaking at the Charles Street location was held in the spring for construction of a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 story home with plans for completion in February.

“We sell our homes to income qualified buyers with an affordable mortgage. Right now we have two buyers in Hurlock who are working on their sweat equity. Neither has reached the point that we can offer them a property yet.”

Director Andrew thanked town officials for donating the Charles Street property plus three lots on Jackson Street that are on the group’s building schedule.

Hurlock partnered with Habitat on a Community Development Block Grant that was recently awarded and will be used primarily for site work on the Jackson Street properties. Referring to the need for infrastructure on the lots, Ms. Andrew noted, “It takes a bit more capital investment to get lots ready for construction.” Winter weather will also play a role in determining when work can be put out for bid.

Volunteers are the organization’s backbone. “We haven’t built up a local crew yet,” said Ms. Andrew, and “We are bringing our weekday construction volunteers from Easton. Eventually, over time, we develop a weekday crew of people willing and able to make regular commitment. Some are retired; some are working. In a small community like this with one house at a time 4 to 5 people regularly is really important to us. We welcome volunteers to participate throughout our mission, not just in construction.”

Habitat needs volunteers to review applicants’ qualifications, finances, or to make sure they’re ready to assume a mortgage and responsibilities since many of them cannot go to the conventional market for a loan. Ms. Andrew explained that volunteers may act as mentors, locate future sites, coach homebuyers; or, as one volunteer does, regularly tour building sites to help pick up trash.

Local institutions are volunteering: Hurlock Elementary School teachers and staff volunteer monthly; a crew from North Dorchester High School will help shortly; and Warwick Elementary may also be in the mix. One business pledging support is Amick Foods who participate often in community events.

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz Habitat for Humanity Choptank Executive Director Nancy Andrew described the progress being made on construction of the first Habitat home in Hurlock. The home, on Charles Street, is expected to be completed in a few months and preparation of three lots on Jackson Street is next in line as the organization continues to build affordable homes for qualified buyers.

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Habitat for Humanity Choptank Executive Director Nancy Andrew described the progress being made on construction of the first Habitat home in Hurlock. The home, on Charles Street, is expected to be completed in a few months and preparation of three lots on Jackson Street is next in line as the organization continues to build affordable homes for qualified buyers.

“Please continue to encourage people to apply to us for homeownership. We’re here to help people get into a place where they are ready to assume this kind of responsibility … The first step is picking up the phone and contacting us.”

Accompanying Ms. Andrew were past president Greg Whitten, Jennifer Greer, and Chuck Weber.
In her comments, Hurlock Mayor Joyce Spratt introduced Bunky Luffman, Gov. Hogan’s new Eastern Shore liaison for Intergovernmental Affairs. Citing long experience in local government, Mr. Luffman explained, “My job is basically from Cecil to Somerset County” and acting as a resource for counties and municipalities.

Police Chief Les Hutton reported that “everything has been quiet for the last 2 weeks. We had 1 public intoxication where a citation was issued; 2 thefts, both juvenile related, with 1 arrest; 2 domestic assaults, 1 warrant service, and 1 malicious destruction of property.” Chief Hutton invited people to “Come by and look at our department. It’s all decorated.”

Councilman Russell Murphy, who led the “Beautiful Yard” contest in the summer, announced a Christmas decorating contest. Businesses who decorate their store fronts will be judged on Dec. 9. First place winners will receive $100; 2nd place garners $75; and 3rd place takes $50. In the Residential contest 1st place takes $150; 2nd $100; and 3rd, $50. Parade announcer Scott Reagan will announce winners prior to the Christmas parade at 7 pm.
Mayor Spratt reminded attendees that Christmas in Hurlock will take place all day Dec. 10 beginning at noon. The parade is scheduled for 7 pm following a showing of “Polar Express” in two railroad cars, decorated for the season, parked on the tracks next to the train station. “Movies are nothing without popcorn,” she said, “We ordered boxes of popcorn and each child who watches the movie will get a tree ornament.” A petting zoo and personalized photographs will be next to the station. Hurlock always does Christmas in a big way. This year promises to be bigger than ever.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment