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Volunteers building Habitat home on Langside Street

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While some are using the weekend to unwind, about 200 volunteers are giving their weekend up to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity.

The volunteers are hoping to finish building the house, which will be located on Langside Street, by the end of August, said Pete Klippenstein, construction supervisor on the project. Roughly 20 volunteers are on the project for eight hours every day, he said.

"You have to be organized, you have be able to think ahead to run so many people all the time," Klippenstein said.

Most of the volunteers are employees of Great-West Life, and are dedicating their time building a house that will be sold to a family in need, said Ken McIntyre, VP of marketing and communications for the Manitoba branch of Habitat for Humanity.

"A lot of people think we just build homes and give them to poor people, which is totally wrong," he said.

Instead, the houses are sold at market value to the families, but require no down payment and no interest on the payments.

The future homeowners also are required to put in several hundred hours in Habitat projects, often on the very home they'll live in. Louann den Otter, a volunteer on the site, said talking to the homeowners makes the build more rewarding.

"(Habitat) ask you to go and introduce yourself. It's not just faceless," den Otter said.

The volunteers are expected to finish by Aug. 30, at which point plumbing and electrical work will be done by professionals. If all goes according to plan, the homeowners will be allowed to move in by December, making the home an early Christmas present.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 11:13 AM CDT: fixed headline

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