The Des Moines chapter of Habitat for Humanity breaks ground this morning (at 11) on its fourth house this year — but this one is a bit unusual. It’s being built by Dowling High School students in honor of a student who was killed in a car crash in 1998. Habitat interim director Marg Powell says Jennifer Pham founded the school’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity as a community service project.After Pham’s death, students created an honorary run-walk that generated 12-thousand dollars in the past four years, money that’s being used to build the 66-thousand dollar house. A family that came to Des Moines from Sudan will take ownership of the home when it’s finished. Powell says the family’s income is very low but the mother and father have jobs and are committed to becoming homeowners. They will put in 350 hours of “sweat equity” to help build the house along with other volunteers. Some of the materials for the house are being donated by Weyerhaeuser Corporation and will come from the Council Bluffs recycling facility. Powell says families are not -given- the homes, they buy them through special 20-year, no-interest mortgages. Powell says the Dowling students are also raising money to build a home in Vietnam, the home country of Pham’s father.
You are here: / / Des Moines students build house in memory of classmate