Habitat home will provide family with needed stability
April 23, 2009
A young family with a two-year old son with disabilities has been awarded the next Grand County Habitat for Humanity house to be located in Hot Sulphur Springs.
Hot Sulphur residents Jeremy and Trisha Olson said there was “a lot of happy emotion” when they found out they were selected.
In raising their legally blind son, Owen, who was born with hypo-puititarism, the chance to provide him stability in a home they own “is a blessing,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy has been employed 12 years at Granby Heating and Sheet Metal and a volunteer for the Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Department.
The family presently rents an affordable two-bedroom trailer, the third Hot Sulphur place in which they have lived in the past two years.
But, “it’s very inadequate for safety reasons,” Jeremy said.
Even after he and Trisha brought the trailer to “tolerable conditions” for their toddler’s safety, there are still improvements that should to be made to windows, electrical outlets, an uneven deck and sharp edges, he said.
And for the past nine months, the couple has been worried their rental home would be sold since it is presently on the market.
When they found out they had been selected for the next Habitat house, “we were ecstatic and shocked,” Jeremy said, “like winning the lottery.”
The couple will be required, as all Habitat home buyers, to invest 200 hours each of “sweat equity” in building the home, as well as apply for Habitat’s low-interest mortgage.
According to the Nixons, the architect volunteering the house design, Jim Pool of J.K. Pool Architect and Associates, Granby, plans to incorporate in the house specially rounded corners and countertops and appropriate handrails for Owen. Pool offered to visit Owen’s school, The Anchor Center for the Blind in Denver, to obtain ideas, Jeremy said.
Jeremy and Trisha, both who grew up in Grand County and graduated from Middle Park High School, pay between $350 to $500 a month in doctor and therapist appointments, medications and special learning tools for Owen, expenses outside of insurance and average expenses associated with raising a young child.
“It’s made our grasp of homeownership pretty hard,” Jeremy said. “That’s why we’re so thankful to Habitat.”
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.