Archive for Sunday, December 20, 1998


December 20, 1998


Betsy and Katlin each drove a nail into the frame of their new house on Saturday.

Betsy's nail went straight in; Katlin's swing wasn't quite as practiced -- she bent hers.

The mother and daughter did the honors during a nail-driving ceremony held by Lawrence Habitat for Humanity Saturday morning on a cold concrete slab at 1725 E. 17th St. In the chilling morning air more than 30 people blessed the site of Betsy Anderson's home. Bundled up in winter coats, Katlin, 8, and her mother used gold hammers to get work on the frame started.

"I want to thank everyone for coming out on this brisk but beautiful morning," Amy LeMert, president of the Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, said.

Betsy, who works for the Salvation Army, said she and her daughter had been living in Lawrence for eight years. Until recently, she had rented a mobile home for the two of them.

"We actually moved in with my mother," she said. The mobile home she rented leaked badly, was poorly insulated and had aggravated Katlin's asthma, Betsy said.

"There's no way we could have afforded a typical loan," she said.

The payments on the Habitat house will be less than she paid in rent for a leaky mobile home, she said.

Habitat for Humanity requires families receiving homes to put more than 300 hours of labor into building their own house and others. They also must pay off the cost of house, which excludes labor, but the monthly payments are interest free. Betsy already put in 80 hours of work; Katlin has helped out, too.

The Andersons' house will be the 30th Habitat for Humanity home built in Lawrence. The organization has filled up all its building sites on LaSalle Street.

"The next few sites will be in this area," LeMert said.

Depending on the weather, the house on 17th Street should be completed in about 90 days.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is

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