Habitat breaks ground on Winkler build site

Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking at the Winkler build site on July 20. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

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A local family is one step closer to having their own home as the Winkler-Morden chapter of Habitat for Humanity broke ground on their Winkler site on July 20.
Margaret and John Wiebe were chosen as the first family in the area to receive a Habitat home. The Wiebes have four young children (Latisha, Alia, Owen and Emma), and said it will mean a lot to have a home of their own.
“It’s been a long journey,” John said. “It started before the twins were even born and they’re over a year already. It took a while but it’s worth it and we’re very exciting to start going with the building and to live here.”
The first Habitat for Humanity house in Canada was built in Winkler, and around two years ago Christina and Duane Falk spearheaded the effort to bring the organization back to the area.
Now, through their effort and with the support of their committee, the house build is going forward.
“We have worked extremely hard to make sure that this runs well and we can keep it sustainable,” Christina Falk said. “We really want this to be something that goes on and on and on in Winkler and Morden, so I think we’ve been able to achieve that.”
Falk said the organization tries to point out that these families are getting a hand up, not a hand out. The Wiebes will be buying their house, paying their mortgage and have to put in around 500 hours of “sweat equity,” which the two have already started doing through helping with garage sales and will be continuing when the building starts.
“They’re part of the solution, which I just think is beautiful,” Falk said.
As John and Margaret pay their mortgage, that money will be going right into helping build a home for another family.
“It’s just so great to know that we’re going to be able to help another family like we’ve been helped to get this home,” Margaret said. “Seeing that it’s just going to keep on going like that, there’s not really any words to express how that feels. It’s just wonderful. We have a very great community.”
The chapter had a lot in Morden donated by Triple E, and applications for families in Morden will start in fall.
Habitat will have volunteer days when people can come out and swing a hammer to help build the house. Falk said they are looking for people who have a specific skill set like drywalling or painting, but they welcome anyone to come out and help.
For more information, contact the chapter at wmhabitat@outlook.com.

Cycle of Hope participants attended the Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking at the Winkler build site on July 20. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)

Margaret and John Wiebe (with their four children) will be homeowners thanks to Habitat for Humanity. The organization broke ground on their Winkler build site on July 20. (LAUREN MACGILL/Winkler Times)