September 14, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— The wall will be raised for the first of four new homes for low-income residents of the town of Amherst being built by Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity and Amherst College at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 24 Stanley St., in Amherst. Kathryn Perry and her daughter, Rachel, the first partner family chosen to live in one of the homes, will be introduced at the wall-raising, which will also feature brief remarks.

The Perry family say they have found their dream house with Habitat’s Amherst College project. They had been hearing about Habitat for Humanity for many years, but when the project came to the community they’d been part of for 30 years, they applied for the Partner Family Program.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call that we were picked,” Kathryn Perry recalls. “We had just walked in the door, and I remember feeling so excited and relieved. What I am most looking forward to is having my own space, being able to do simple things like hanging a clothesline, planting flowers, and seeing the stars at night.” Perry is an avid gardener and is already planning a first garden filled with daffodils and snow drops.

Amherst College announced last year that it would provide the land for the construction of four new homes for low-income residents of the town of Amherst. Three acres of college land off South East Street in Amherst were donated to the local chapter of the internationally active group that has brought capital, rather than charity, to the poor since 1976. The community is invited to participate in the construction. The work will be regularly scheduled for Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Other days may be scheduled by arrangement. Amherst College students, faculty and staff will have first priority in scheduling work at the site, and all Saturdays are reserved for Amherst College groups.

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, the local chapter of the national group, serves the Hampshire and Franklin County area. Pioneer Valley Habitat is an ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to building homes in partnership with families in need. By the end of 2006, Pioneer Valley Habitat will have built 22 homes in the Pioneer Valley, working with homeowner families who live in the homes that they helped build. Homeowner families buy their homes through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. More information is available at Pioneer Valley Habitat's website.