Habitat for Humanity chooses single mother of 4 to receive its 23rd home

The Havens family at groundbreaking ceremony for their new home built by Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah, June 21, 2018, Washington City, Utah | Photo courtesy of Lil Barron, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah broke ground Thursday on its 23rd home since 1998, this one for single mom Kasidy Havens and her four children. 

The groundbreaking ceremony for the 23rd Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah home, June 21, 2018, Washington City, Utah | Photo courtesy of Lil Barron, St. George News

A ceremony was held to introduce the family and the location of their new home in Washington City. Habitat staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors and Washington County dignitaries attended the ceremony.

About four years ago Havens went through a divorce and was left to find housing for herself and her kids, Shelby, Grant, Drake and Chase. Havens applied to all of the low income housing options in the area but was not able to afford them. Eventually she found an 800-square-foot basement apartment for the five of them to live in.

Before the divorce Havens had been a stay-at-home mom. She had an associate degree, and decided to sign up for the pharmacy technology program at then Dixie Applied Technology College. Now Havens works at the college as an instructor in the pharmacy program.

Havens met Linda Baker and Lil Barron from Habitat for Humanity at a luncheon she spoke at. They thought that she would be a good candidate and recommended that she apply for the program. She did apply but doubted that she would be chosen. Then she was. Now, two years later, they have begun the building process.

“It gives me affordable housing and the opportunity to continue to move my life forward. Having a safe place for my family is such a relief, I don’t have to worry as a single mom of four kids,” Havens said.

The Havens family helped complete the construction of the last Habitat home to start working on their 250 required sweat-equity hours.

Havens said she is unsure when exactly the house will be finished since the labor is volunteer based, but she estimates early spring.

Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah has built 22 homes in the past 20 years, helping over 125 people become homeowners.

The organization’s purpose is to build safe, good quality affordable housing for families in Washington County who are between 60 percent and 80 percent of the area’s median income.

“I think it’s amazing the people in our community that sacrificed and worked so hard to help each other,” Havens said. “I am just grateful that my kids and I get to be a part of it because it’s teaching us about helping those in need and helping us to see who in our community needs help and giving us the opportunity to do something about it.”

Families go through a long process to be selected for a Habitat home, Barron said. When Habitat has property and the finances to build a home, people are able to submit online applications.

Applicants must attend a mandatory meeting where Habitat employees explain how the process works and what they’re looking for in the chosen applicant. Then a selection committee checks their credit and visits their current home to make sure there really is a need. Then a board of directors makes the final decision.

They encourage families to apply, Barron said, even if they don’t think they have a chance to be selected.

Shovels used for the 23rd Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah home groundbreaking ceremony, June 21, 2018, Washington City, Utah | Photo courtesy of Lil Barron, St. George News

“This could be the hand-up that you wouldn’t get otherwise,” Barron said.

Habitat homes are not free. Homeowners make zero-percent interest payments, which usually come out to approximately $500-$600 per month, which is less than rent for many families.

“We encourage our families to take their money and do something,” Barron said. “Take that opportunity with that extra money you’re saving. Go back to school, do something with your kids.”

Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah is sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Sorensen Legacy Foundation, S & S Home Builders and past Habitat homeowners.

This 23rd house is being built in honor of John Donnell, a past Habitat board member, who died last year. The group remembers Donnell’s legacy as they build this home.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • Scott June 29, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Happy to see her and the kids get a home. Nobody should have to face uncertainty about their housing. But if she were an inner-city black mom, imagine the scorn people would give her for getting ‘welfare’.

  • comments June 29, 2018 at 11:17 am

    “Now Havens works at the college as an instructor in the pharmacy program.”

    I guess it sounds like a good job on paper, but maybe still not enough to afford a house in this area? I’m actually not surprised, since the area generally has garbage pay and resortized housing prices. I stick to my assertion that Habitat for Humanity is a ridiculous operation in this area. Barely more than 1 house per year completed. Sorry but that’s just a negligible overall impact no matter how you slice it. The real tragedy is that a ‘college instructor’ can’t break into the housing market out here in the frickin’ desert. Just ridiculous. Good for her tho. 😉

    • bikeandfish June 29, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      “Instructors” in Utah universities and colleges definitely make junk pay. Non-tenure track positions like that are how many universities are now filling rosters for teaching positions after bloating middle management staff positions.

      Glad she and her family are getting a home. I’ve volunteered on such projects and they seem like a great national organization.

    • Striker4 June 30, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Awww what a shame. poor little Prophet Bob got his panty hose in a knot over somebody getting a house…get a job !

  • DenbeeDilbert June 30, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Where is the deadbeat father in all of this? She should be getting decent financial support for her children or has he moved on to start another family?

    • bikeandfish June 30, 2018 at 9:18 am

      There are many reasons a single mother would not seek help from the father. Sometimes a 100% cleancut is the safest choice.

  • asianspa June 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

    These supposed feel good stories depress me. 23 homes since 1998? It is laughable that between Habitat for Humanity , our local home builders with their endless supply of immigrant workers, and the now multiple denominations of local churches that there can’t be more unity and pooling of resources. Comments is right,.. 23 homes since 1998 is a laughable joke. City leaders are completely asleep at the wheel as their crony puppeteers want them to be. The economy is like a tree,… yes it will grow but you got to take care and manage it so it will grow in the right direction.

  • bikeandfish June 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I’m not sure why folks have so much angst with Habitat. They are a national organization, not loçal. 23 homes doesn’t sound like a ton but it is to the families that wouldn’t have any other option without their charity.

    Per general concern….yes, most municipalities are blindly allowing our cities and towns to create housing crisises. When a “starter” home averages $215k+ then we all know we are selling out many Americans. Something needs to be done here and nationally as its only getting worse.

  • comments June 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Just like I put on the last article I suspect Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah is corrupt as hell. They run that massive “re-store” where ALL their inventory is donated items, and I’ve personally witnessed some shady deals going down there between the management and groups of polygamists–I’m talking about huge sums of cash changing hands. I don’t have direct evidence, but any time you bring groups of plygs and big chunks of cash in on business dealings there are bound to be some very shady deals. And I’m sure these cash deals aren’t on the books, so how do you even audit them? 22 houses since 1998 is pathetic, esp since they’re not actually giving away “free houses”, and all the building material is wrapped into this interest free loan. Just an impotent, mismanaged, and very likely corrupt organization. If you want to donate $$$ or goods, or volunteer for a charity I’d find something else! I flat-out don’t trust the paid employees that administer this program here. It just stinks of typical good ol’ ‘suddern’ utah greed.

    • comments June 30, 2018 at 10:56 am

      I’ll say good for the folks in the photos, and i hope they come away w/ a nice low-cost house. But I’d say the clowns who run this operation need to get audited big time.

    • bikeandfish June 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      They are one of the most transparent, well-rated organizations of its class and category. 77% of their money goes to program costs. Maybe one point of confusion is that the ReStore supports international, national and local programs. There was some dispute between local chapters and the national headquarters over how that money was divied up not too long ago.

      But I think leveling fraud-like claims against the local affiliate is a pretty big accusation without evidence. Especially given the organization undergoes third party auditing on a regular basis (not even our state universities do that).

      • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm

        Do you believe everything you read except the Bible?

        • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

          Let me clarify. Do you believe everything you read on the fact checking that you use to reference facts?

          • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm


          • bikeandfish June 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

            Might want to clarify and be more specific.

      • comments June 30, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        barely 1 house per year for the last 20 years! Total load of bs, ’nuff said. Go ‘fact check’ yourself, bike. hahah 😉

        • bikeandfish June 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm

          What did you say that was inconsistent with my statements, ie need to fact check. I’m not saying they are building more homes in St George than you claim. I agree with that number. In fact, I explain it through recognizing they send alot of local chapter money to the national organization. They have built 800,000 internationally over 40+ years.

          You are right, if you want someone to build more local homes than support another organization. But that doesn’t make them corrupt.

          • comments July 1, 2018 at 10:24 am

            Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Utah = impotent, corrupt, and full of BS–just useless. You’re full of BS too, bike. So you should give them your money 😉

  • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I’m with Bob and Asia spa on this one

    • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      I do not recommend Galaxy S8. I’ve never had so many typos before. my $150 phone was easier to type on. I sur hopee they hve improvd the knew models lol

      • comments June 30, 2018 at 3:40 pm


      • comments June 30, 2018 at 3:43 pm

        you got a long way to go before you become competition for “mmsandie” or w/e her name is. hahaha 😉

        • ladybugavenger June 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm

          Haha…I love her!

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