Garden Party to return for its 4th year |

Garden Party to return for its 4th year

Heber City buikding officials, board members and partner families as the groundbreaking of a Habitat for Humanity event in Heber.

The need for affordable housing is nearing crisis proportions in Summit County. People live in crowded, unsanitary or unsafe properties because of the high cost of real estate in a resort community.

With property rates soaring in Park City, many of the residents here are forced to leave the city or live in undesirable conditions.

"As costs get higher and higher people are driving farther and farther to work here," said Kaity Quinley of Habitat for Humanity for Summit and Wasatch Counties. "We provide shelter for those who live in situations that are really inadequate. People who live in trailers infested with bugs or too many people in one apartment. There are people here who are paying too much rent where they are."

The Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide nonprofit organization that builds "simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with those who lack adequate shelter." On Tuesday, July 25, the Summit and Wasatch County Chapter of Habitat will hold its fourth annual fundraiser, "Habitat in the Garden Party" at 6 p.m. at the Redstone Plaza in Kimball Junction. There will be food, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a live auction. Families who have been helped will be there to share their stories. All the proceeds will go to building efforts locally to house families in need. Tickets are $50. To purchase tickets, call 640-6462.

Quinley has observed that with the rising costs of living in Park City, it has become harder to keep the community intact.

"There is substantial need for housing so we can keep our huge work force housed here. To keep people here that make minimum wage or day care people, they are commuting farther and farther. We need an affordable option to keep kids connected to community."

Two years ago, Wendy McKnight, a single mother of twins, lived with her family in a small two bedroom apartment until Habitat for Humanity offered a helping-hand. The organization built a house on her father’s property in Heber. Now, she says, she can live in the city where she grew up.

"They gave me an opportunity to own my home where everybody always told me no. It took me 20 years to have a home. I met remarkable people, their compassion is wonderful, and they just make you feel like you are somebody in the world. It’s just been really rewarding that me and my family have a place to go home to.

Audrey Salcido, another local single mother with three children was living in similar circumstances before Habitat for Humanity came along and built a surprise house for her family.

"It was a secret to her and her two youngest kids. The house was given as a Christmas present, she didn’t know we spent the previous eight months building her a home," Quinley said.

Since 1976, Habitat International has built more than 175, 000 houses, and providing shelter for nearly 900,000 people worldwide. Now, the organization is at work in 100 countries.

"We are building a house every 26 minutes. By 2005, Habitat houses will be sheltering 1 million people. Since 1995, in Summit and Wasatch Counties we have built seven homes housing 18 children and 10 adults," Quinley said. Here in Summit and Wasatch Counties, Quinley says, "As we embark on our 2006 endeavors we will bring the meaning of "home" to another three families."

The organization accomplishes the work by building and selling modest homes to low-income families at no interest.

"In order to increase the home affordability we arrange for donated labor and materials and vary the term of the mortgage so we can serve those who standard mortgage criteria reject," Quinley said.

The Habitat for Humanity for Summit and Wasatch Counties will hold its fourth annual "Habitat in the Garden Party" Tuesday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Redstone Plaza in Kimball Junction. All proceeds support Habitat’s building efforts locally to house families in need of decent, affordable, adequate shelter. There will be food and a live auction. There are various ways to donate and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. For more information and to reserve tickets for the Garden Party, call Kaity Quinley at 640-6462 or visit

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