DIGGING INTO HER FUTURE – Katelyn and her son hope to move into their three-bedroom duplex before Christmas. Skagit Habitat for Humanity CEO Tina Tate, left, was master of ceremonies Saturday at Channel Cove, where Katelyn’s home is one of five built by Skagit Habitat. 
– Photo by Ken Stern
DIGGING INTO HER FUTURE – Katelyn and her son hope to move into their three-bedroom duplex before Christmas. Skagit Habitat for Humanity CEO Tina Tate, left, was master of ceremonies Saturday at Channel Cove, where Katelyn’s home is one of five built by Skagit Habitat. – Photo by Ken Stern

In a ceremony Saturday, Sept. 17, Katelyn was introduced to La Conner’s Channel Cove community. By Christmas, Skagit Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers hope to have the Park Street duplex renovated for her to move in with her two children.

While Katelyn and her young son only symbolically broke ground, turning a shovelful of dirt, Skagit Habitat staff and volunteers started renovating the three bedroom duplex in mid-August. They hope to finish their interior rebuild to allow a Dec. 17 move-in date.

In remarks, Board President Rob Ashby said the project will turn a house into a home, that staff and volunteers are 100% committed to its success. Comparing the project with the value of land he passed driving to the site off Maple Avenue, he called their efforts a miracle and noted the need for starter homes is absolutely astronomical. “We hope to create this miracle over and over again,” he told the group.

“This place will be your new home, a place for birthday parties and slumber parties and a thousand memories,” Rev. Scott Rossiter prayed, offering a personal vision for the family’s future.

Skagit Habitat is making that future real one structure at a time. Volunteer Carol Boss is excited about construction also starting on a new fourplex in Mount Vernon at Blackburn and LaVenture roads.

Tina Tate, Skagit Habitat CEO, knows the regional and national scale of the lack of housing. Her organization has the ambitious goal of building 15 homes a year for five years. They seek larger parcels of land for larger projects. Channel Cove is their model. Habitat built five homes in the 25 unit complex and controls them separately from Skagit Home Trust, the community land trust that manages the complex.

“Homelessness is a housing issue,” she said. “The lack of housing can cause homelessness. People are on the edge of being homeless because of rising rental rates and substandard housing.”

People earning 30-60% of the average median income are eligible for Habitat homes. The ceiling for a family of three is $42,710. Adults seeking a home also provide 500 sweat equity volunteer hours, minimum, including construction.

The Skagit Habitat mission statement is “Putting God’s love into action. Skagit Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope." Their vision: “Empowering people to empower themselves.”