Ceremony marks start of Habitat projects

Local churches are set to kickoff construction today on two new Habitat for Humanity homes with a wall-raising ceremony in Medford.

The Rogers/Cox family will receive one of the new homes being built at 1335 Beekman Street. The Quezada family will receive the other.

The homes are being built on the site of the Rogers/Cox family's former residence, said Meghan Daugherty, volunteer coordinator.

Chrystle Rogers and her daughter, Conner Cox, and son, Shawn Cox, all suffer from dwarfism, said Daugherty. Rogers and her daughter are now wheelchair- bound, and their former home was in "substandard condition," she said, adding that Shawn Cox provides full-time care for his mother.

But simple things like reaching tall cabinets and changing ceiling lights offered big challenges in a home that was not built to accommodate the needs of little people. Additionally, bad flooring and narrow hallways had the two women confined to the living room areas. They were unable to get to their bedrooms without great difficulty, she said.

"They basically had to crawl," Daugherty said.

The Rogers/Cox property was purchased by Habitat for Humanity and torn down. Two new homes will soon stand in its stead thanks to two local church groups, she said.

"We are very happy to know there will soon be two homes on that property," Daugherty said.

The other family to be sharing the lot will be the Quezada family, who currently live in a small trailer in Talent. The family began putting in the 500 hours of sweat equity required of each family before they knew they'd be placed in a new home, Daugherty said.

The Rogers/Cox home is sponsored by eight local Lutheran churches which make up the Thrivent Group. Five more churches make up the Apostles Build group, which is sponsoring the Quezada home, said Daugherty.

"We are really pleased," said she said. "We don't always get partnerships."

Daugherty said people who would like to help out with the project should come to the wall-raising.

"We're always looking for more people to come and help out," Daugherty said.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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