Rhinelander family receives key to 24th Habitat for Humanity Northwoods home
Around this time a year ago, Habitat for Humanity of the Northwoods broke ground for a new home on Thayer Street in Rhinelander.
This week, the home’s new owner took possession of the keys during a dedication ceremony.
“Bobbi, Krystal, and Marshall, congratulations, you now have the tools and keys to enjoy your new home,” said construction manager Ann Sorensen as she handed over the keys.
It’s the first house Bobbi Rouse has ever owned.
“I was so ready to move in like months ago. I'm a little kid in the backseat to say ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’” said Rouse.
Bobbi and her daughter Krystal Barlowski own the home and will be living there with Krystal’s son Marshall.
They’ve been helping build the house and put in hours at the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Rhinelander.
“I’ve learned that I really don't want to ever caulk again,” Bobbi said with a laugh. “But, I mean, we've learned a lot and just the people, we have a good time with the people.”
One of those people who’s been putting a lot of hours into the build has been construction manager Ann Sorenson.
“It feels really great. This family has been extremely involved in building this house. They're here like two out of three workdays, every week. They took lots of time off [to help build] and so it's fun to have shared building the house with them and knowing that it'll be theirs,” said Sorensen.
The home build has been a true community effort with help from students at Rhinelander High School, local businesses and organizations, and dozens of community volunteers.
And while this family begins to move in, construction is already underway another Habitat for Humanity house in Rhinelander.
Like the recently finished house, the next one will be built with help from the senior trade class at Rhinelander High School.
“We're super excited about the future. We typically have built one home a year now we're getting kind of working on two. We want to maybe see if we can keep growing, maybe get up to three or four with a little luck in our two-county area,” said Dave Havel, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Northwoods.
This chapter builds houses in Vilas and Oneida Counties.
The next house should be completed around this time next year.