LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

Door County Habitat for Humanity helps fill affordable housing gap with latest build

Local News

BAILEYS HARBOR, Wis. (WFRV) — On a newly cleared lot in Bailey’s Harbor, volunteers are hard at work building a home for Doug Marvin and his sons, Emiliano and Richard.

“As soon as we found out that this was going to be the lot, we came over many times, just hiking around the lot. It was really awesome,” Doug said.

The lot stands in a heavily wooded area: from the street, the only clue of what’s going on down the gravel driveway are the lines of cars in an otherwise secluded area.

“It’s a very similar area to where I grew up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York,” Doug said.

He moved his family to northern Door County after he got a job at a daycare center.

After making the move, the family discovered the difficulties of finding affordable housing in the area.

“We could rent places, and places got sold out from under us,” Doug said.

Lori Allen, Executive Director for Door County Habitat for Humanity say that the issue is more common than is commonly perceived.

“The perception of Door County is that we are a very rich community, that we have plenty of housing affordable for individuals, and we don’t,” she explained. “We certainly want to continue to grow our program to be able to build possibly in the future more than one home per year.”

Right now, it’s all hands on deck to build the Marvin home.

“It’s amazing, the amount of volunteers that show up,” Doug said Tuesday.

Among the builders are the Marvins themselves, including Doug’s two sons.

“It’s actually kind of a cool experience,” Emiliano said. “It’s a huge learning experience, it definitely helps out for the future of all of our lives.”

His younger brother, Richard added, “I didn’t expect me to be able to do much, but these people are very nice and letting me do lots and lots of things here.”

Officials expect the build to be completed by Christmas, even with a later start because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have to say, our volunteers were anxious and eager, and ready to start to build,” Lori said, adding that to make the deadline, the team may have to add some Saturday builds to their usual Tuesday/Thursday build days.

The Marvins are also eager, not just to move in, but to work on the project as a family.

“It’s great that the three of us can work together on building our home,” Doug said. “Doing this with my sons is, for me anyway, is the best part.”

Door County Habitat for Humanity is still looking for volunteers to help out with this build along with other endeavors.


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