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Partnership built on possibilities



The little house with the white aluminum siding was not quite finished.

Ladders still rested against it. Soffit had to be installed. This had to be done. That had to be done.

It would be weeks before its owner, Lan Nguyen, and her 2-yearold daughter, Zelda, took possession. It would be longer still before the dwelling on East Virginia Avenue in Punta Gorda was dedicated as a Habitat for Humanity home, one of about 35 to be built this year through Habitat for Humanity in the area.

The future, with all its possibilities, had not yet arrived.

Still, Team Punta Gorda, whose volunteers had begun building the house in January, wanted to do a walk-through. Team Punta Gorda is an all-volunteer citizen advisory organization born in the wake of Hurricane Charley in 2004.

About 15 members gathered on a recent Tuesday to inspect the second Habitat home built by Team Punta Gorda, which is considering putting up a third home next year.

“It looks great,” said Mike Mansfield, Habitat’s executive director.

Habitat has been building homes in Charlotte County since 1987. More than 400 Charlotte County families have been aided by the program. Plans this year call for two of the 35 homes to be built in Glades County.

Habitat sells homes at an affordable price to qualified applicants who meet certain criteria. They are chosen by a committee and approved by the board of directors. Applicants must have a need for affordable

Mark Kissinger, construction site manager for Habitat for Humanity, climbs a ladder to work on the porch roof as Team Punta Gorda volunteers work around him.


Bill Welsch of Team Punta Gorda, left, chats with Mike Mansfield, executive director of Habitat for Humanity.

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