Local volunteers are pitching in to help build a new house in Georgetown Point for a disabled veteran and his family.

Local volunteers are pitching in to help build a new house in Georgetown Point for a disabled veteran and his family.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity’s Vet Build program provides veterans in need with affordable housing.

The volunteers helping disabled Army veteran Oscar Gonzales, his wife and three teenage sons includes members of the Georgetown-Ellendale VFW Post 2931.

The post will donate a check for more than $8,000 to Habitat for this Vet Build project during the post’s 2931 pig roast on Saturday. Commander Michael Smith and Past Commander Bob Babel will present the check.

“The VFW is all about veterans helping veterans. That’s our motto and we take that very seriously at 2931,” Smith said. “It makes us proud that we’re able to come together and help a veteran.”

Jay Gundy, development director for Sussex County Habitat for Humanity in Georgetown, said the $8,000-plus donation brings the total funds raised by volunteers for this Vet Build project to about $30,000.

“We are deeply grateful for Georgetown-Ellendale VFW,” Gundy said. “There are other VFW posts in Sussex County and other groups that include the Lions Club [that have contributed]; and Home Depot has been a large contributor to this project. There are also smaller organizations and individuals who’ve contributed as well.”

Kelly Jansen of VFW Post 2931 said donating to Vet Build is intended to attract new and younger recruits to their post.

“People want to be involved in organizations that are useful and helpful in the community,” Jansen said. “We want our club to be more than a bunch of old guys trading stories.”

Habitat broke ground on the Gonzales’ new home in September. “We’re on schedule for it to be completed in mid-December,” Gundy said.

The Gonzales family project marks the second Vet Build for Sussex Habitat. The first one was built in Georgetown in 2013, Gundy said.

The Gonzalez home will be the 22nd and final house that Habitat will build in Georgetown Point, since “all the lots we own there are filled with houses,” Gundy said.

How the Vet Build works

A candidate must be a veteran living in Sussex with a steady income. Their income must be no more than $38,500, which is 60 percent of the county’s median income, Gundy said.

Applicants must invest a minimum of 200 sweat equity hours into building their home. Candidates must make a $2,500 deposit for closing costs and “pay off all delinquent debts,” Gundy said.

“Very importantly, they have to attend home ownership preparation classes, which include home and personal finance,” he said.

Habitat for Humanity will sell the new home to the candidate at about $125,000, less than the estimated $150,000 it costs to build a Habitat home, Gundy said.

Building hope

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity has dedicated 104 homes to families in need since being founded in 1991. Homes have been built in areas including Georgetown, Ellendale, west Rehoboth Beach, Seaford and Laurel.

Gundy said Habitat has an ambitious plan in mind for homebuilding in Sussex.

“Our goal is to complete the next 100 homes over the next seven years.”


WHAT Pig roast, presented by Georgetown-Ellendale VFW Post 2931

WHEN 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday

WHERE Georgetown-Ellendale VFW Post 2931, 14411 VFW Road, Ellendale

COST $10; free for veterans

INFO Visit vfwpost2931.com or call 422-8333