Habi­tat help­ing city home­own­ers

The Barrie Examiner - - NEWS - CH­ERYL BROWNE BAR­RIE EX­AM­INER CBrowne@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/cheryl­browne1

At 4:45 a.m., Pauline Varga’s home was in­vaded.

Varga had wo­ken to the crash­ing of some­one try­ing to break through the glass pa­tio doors that May 20 morn­ing.

“I yelled, ‘hey, get out of here’,” Varga said from her Lount Street back­yard on Mon­day.

“But that just made him an­gry and he started yelling and swear­ing at me. He threat­ened to kill me if I didn’t let him in the eff­ing house,” she said.

Grab­bing the phone and her 14-year-old son, Varga called po­lice as the sound of the door frame gave way on the first floor.

Locked in the bath­room, Varga was speak­ing to the po­lice dis­patcher as the man pro­ceeded to smash his way into the house and threaten the ter­ri­fied mother and son.

“The po­lice fi­nally got here and he was three steps away from the door where we were hid­ing,” Varga said. “He was un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs or al­co­hol and was in a rage. He told the po­lice he lived here.”

Varga had never seen the man be­fore or since, but it was the sec­ond time that month some­one had bro­ken into her home through the un­fenced back­yard, so she called Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Huro­nia for help.

Varga and her young son and daugh­ter had moved into the home on Lount Street in April 2009.

“We fund homes, not ren­o­va­tions but when Pauline called, we put out the call for help,” said Jennifer Berry, man­ager of fam­ily and re­source de­vel­op­ment with Bar­rie’s Habi­tat.

With half the non-profit’s work crew fram­ing two new homes on Cen­tre Street, Berry was pleased when Home De­pot and ABA Ma­chine and Weld­ing of­fered their vol­un­teers, ser­vices and ma­te­ri­als.

More than 20 vol­un­teers were work­ing through the damp, bleak Mon­day morn­ing to in­stall a 300foot wooden fence.

This was the first build for Richard Gib­son from Home De­pot.

“It’s re­ally or­ga­nized and ev­ery­one seems to be com­fort­able with what they’re do­ing,” Gib­son said.

Team De­pot has a ded­i­cated crew of staff who vol­un­teer on com­mu­nity projects, such as paint­ing Youth Haven ear­lier this year, he said.

Home De­pot do­nated ma­te­ri­als at cost, and will also in­stall a se­cu­rity sys­tem at the Varga home.

Varga of­fered up $1,500 of her own money for the fence, and Joe Proulx of ABA Ma­chine and Weld­ing said his boss had do­nated his staff plus $1,000 to­wards the fence.

“We wanted to have more com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in­stead of just giv­ing some money,” Proulx said, “We made a com­mit­tee to ad­dress the ways we could help peo­ple out in the com­mu­nity.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. habi­tathuro­nia.com.

MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

Joel Proulx and a few of his col­leagues from ABA Ma­chine and Weld­ing joined more than 20 vol­un­teers dur­ing Mon­day's fence-build­ing project at a Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity home lo­cated on Lount Street in Bar­rie.

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