Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion New Habitat for Humanity homeowner Crystal Stonecipher, left, chats with Ramon and Eduviges Carreon at a groundbreaking event in Kenai on June 14. The Carreons recently paid off the mortgage on their Habitat home, which they moved into in 1995.

Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion New Habitat for Humanity homeowner Crystal Stonecipher, left, chats with Ramon and Eduviges Carreon at a groundbreaking event in Kenai on June 14. The Carreons recently paid off the mortgage on their Habitat home, which they moved into in 1995.

Building for the future: Construction begins on new Habitat home

Sawdust sprayed into the 66-degree air around Bill Radtke and Nathon Stonecipher as they sliced into a thick strip of wood. After the whirring table saw blade was turned off, the two men paused in their work for a water break.

In a pair of dark reflective sunglasses, Stonecipher sipped from a water bottle on the property of his soon-to-be home. Behind him a rectangular cement foundation jutted up from the ground.

On Saturday, framing work began on this year’s Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity home on Second Avenue in Kenai.

By Thanksgiving the foundation Stonecipher was overlooking will evolve into a three-bedroom house, said Bill Radtke, board member for the Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity.

Stonecipher will move into the home with his wife, Crystal Stonecipher, and her three children, Rebecca Trickel, Charles Trickel and Destin Trickel.

“I love everything about it,” Stonecipher said. “Pouring the concrete has been my favorite part of construction so far. It finalizes that it’s actually happening.”

 

The Stoneciphers married last January after dating for five months. The couple decided early on in their relationship they wanted to start saving up for a house.

The couple was selected to receive this year’s Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity house immediately after the wedding, Crystal Stonecipher said.

“It would not have been possible for us for a long time if this hadn’t happened,” she said.

The family of five is currently living in a two-bedroom trailer, with a leaky roof and knob-less front door, Crystal Stonecipher said. This winter their pipes froze and the home had no running water for a period of time, she said.

Radtke said the first qualification to receive a Habitat for Humanity home is that the family is found to be living in unsafe or poor conditions. The Stoneciphers’ situation was also considered “overcrowding,” he said.

The kids will be able to play outside at their new home, Crystal Stonecipher said. They will be able to have friends over.

Their future neighbors, also recipients of Habitat for Humanity homes, came to watch the ground breaking, Crystal Stonecipher said.

“It opens up everything for us,” Nathon Stonecipher said.

 

A qualifying family must also have a steady income, and be able to pay off the cost of the house, Radtke said. Financially the payment process is a no-interest loan, he said.

“If a home costs $100,000 the family will pay $100,000,” Radtke said. “It’s a hand up, not a hand out.”

Once selected, “500 sweat equity hours” must be provided, which the hands of the family or volunteers can accomplish, Nathon Stonecipher said.

Saturday was the first day friends and volunteers were allowed to start helping, said Jeannie Fanning, an Envoy at the Salvation Army, and friend of Crystal and Nathon. She came wielding peanut butter cookies.

Fanning said she doesn’t have much hands-on experience with construction, but she could at least act as a “pack mule.”

Fanning said Central Kenai Peninsula Habitat for Humanity is an organization that is actually meeting the needs of its residents, she said.

 

The Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity has the most houses per capita world wide, Radtke said.

However, many Kenai residents still need a new home, Radtke said. This year 19 applications were filed for a house that only one family will receive, he said.

Finding funding and volunteers are two major challenges for every project, he said. Houses can only be built when there is enough money, and how fast a home is built depends on how many volunteer hours are put in, he said.

This year, amidst the business relocation on the Soldotna “Y,” Peggy Mullen, owner of River City Books, let Habitat for Humanity take whatever salvageable materials they could use for this year’s home once the stores were moved out.

Radtke said Habitat for Humanity was able to pull thousands of dollars worth of supplies for the Stoneciphers’ home.

“It is that kind of generosity that makes the Kenai Habitat for Humanity so successful,” Radtke said.

 

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

National Weather Service radar for the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska on Aug. 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
Rain, rain and more rain

Low pressure systems drive wet conditions in Southcentral

Sockeye salmon return to Steep Creek to spawn. Alaska’s overall commercial salmon harvest across all species is currently up 15% from 2021 (2020 for pinks) with Bristol Bay and the Prince William Sound largely carrying the weight while other regions lag, according to data from the most recent Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute weekly salmon harvest update. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Statewide salmon harvest on the upswing compared to last year

Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound are mainly pulling the weight

Jake Dye / Peninsula Clarion
Congressional candidate Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3 in Kenai . Early Wednesday, Peltola had earned 38.4% of first-choice votes in a race that will determine who fills Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat until January.
Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Democratic candidate Peltola leads U.S. House race early, but Palin may win in final count

Former governor and Republican U.S. House candidate Sarah Palin stands to benefit from ranked choice voting

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations on the rise

86 patients were hospitalized with 10 patients on ventilators

2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pierce among leaders in governor’s race

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads the pack overall

Braeden Garrett holds signs supporting Alaska House of Representatives candidate Justin Ruffridge at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ruffridge, Babcock lead in early primary results

Unofficial preliminary primary election results showed significant margins between the first- and second-place candidates

Pollworkers Carol Louthan (center) and Harmony Bolden (right) work at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Local voters cast ballots, try out ranked choice

Locally, multiple candidates have their sights set on seats in the Alaska Legislature.

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Murkowski advances in Senate race, Palin in House

Kelly Tshibaka, her GOP rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was among the candidates bound for the November general election

Most Read