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home : current news : current news April 30, 2016


7/8/2014 12:21:00 PM
Family dedicates home remodel
Phylicia and Bastion with parents, Cari Landis and Keith Brandt, in doorway of their renovated home. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Phylicia and Bastion with parents, Cari Landis and Keith Brandt, in doorway of their renovated home. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Diane Goble


Sisters Habitat for Humanity has completed its fourth home-repair project. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Friday, July 3, at the Landis-Brandt home on Goldcoach, off Holmes Road.

Cari Landis, Keith Brandt and two of their three children, Phylicia, a senior next year at Sisters High School, and Bastion, who attends COCC, had nothing but words of praise and gratitude for the home-repair program and all the volunteers who turned their aging modular home into a brand-new version of itself. Their son, Jordan, had to be at work and wasn't able to attend the dedication.

Landis, whose parents bought the original 10 acres in 1995, talked about her love for the land and the juniper trees, and how the big skies and wide-open spaces "cleansed her soul." She said, "I fell in love with the dirt the first time I saw this place when I was 10 years old" and now with the house fixed up, she can't wait to get back to her gardening, which was neglected during the chaos of construction.

Since February, the family has been hosting the volunteer crews with a constant supply of lemonade and baked goodies from chef (The Porch) Brandt and Landis (Angeline's Bakery) when they would show up about twice a week to rip things down and replace them. Habitat's construction manger, Shawn O'Hern, worked around the family's schedule, and wrangled construction materials donated by Habitat's ReStore and roofing material donated by Certainteed, all delivered thanks to Hoyt's.

Habitat's Board President Kevin Neary opened the dedication ceremony with a welcome message and former board president Jerry Hanford offered an opening prayer of gratitude. Lynne Jones, board member and super-volunteer builder, added her voice, singing "Bless This House."

Executive Director Sharlene Weed talked about the Home Repair Services Program, which works in partnership with qualified families to repair and rehab affordable homes in Sisters, which may include roof repair, weatherization, ramps and exterior painting. Homeowners with a need for improved housing and the ability to repay a zero-interest loan also commit to sweat equity of eight hours for the first $1,000 plus four hours for each additional $1,000. Their loan payments are added to a fund to help support new home-repairs for other families.

O'Hern described the work that was done, including replacing siding panels and adding new trim around the windows, enclosing the front porch and adding steps for weather protection, and a new back door. Inside, the cabinet under the sink was repaired, and a new faucet and a garbage disposal were installed.

Deschutes County Community Justice sent two supervisors and a crew of eight with community service hours to work off to rip off the old roof and help put on a new roof and new gutters. The Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls sent six students who volunteered to paint the house over their two-week spring vacation.

Brandt followed by lightning some sage and performing a smudging ceremony according to his American-Indian tradition, calling on Father Sky and Mother Earth to bless their home and surroundings with good thoughts and blessings.

Neary then introduced the family, who each spoke from their hearts about the gratitude they have for Habitat's program and the volunteers who helped bring it all together for them.

With tears in her eyes, Landis said, "This never would have happened if it hadn't been for all these wonderful people."

Brandt talked about how special the people of Sisters are and how great Habitat is "to help regular folks like us be able to afford to fix up a house that was falling apart."

He and Phylicia both talked about how putting in their sweat equity brought their family closer together. Phylicia said, "It was lots of hard work, but it was lots of fun!"

Marie Clasen, Habitat volunteer and family services manager, said a few words in Laura Hiller's absence. Hiller is the family partner and has been there to support the family through this process of living in their home while the construction work is being done, but was out of town during the dedication. Clasen said the renovation ended up costing $4,800 and although the family only needed 28 hours sweat equity, she stopped counting after 55.

"Between that and all the goodies they supplied the crews with," Clasen commented, "they went above and beyond what was required of them."

Family members each cut pink ribbons that had been placed across the front door for everyone in the family to cut their own ribbon as they posed for the photographer to commemorate this wonderful day for the Landis-Brandt family and their beautifully renovated home in their own little paradise in Sisters.









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