Habitat helping city homeowners
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.
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.