MONTICELLO, Ind. - A local veteran will soon be living in a new home on Bluewater near the Tippecanoe River in Monticello. Six local churches are joining together to build a new home that will replace one badly damaged by the January 2008 flooding.

The six Monticello churches are the Christian, United Methodist, First Baptist, LifeSong, New Hope Lutheran and First Presbyterian congregations.

Carl Reid and his grandson have continued to live in the home on Bluewater, even though it was damaged beyond repair and has since been razed. The new home shell is being purchased by Disaster Assistance for Northwest Indiana (DANI) through another non-profit organization - New Hope Construction of Tennessee.
"If it weren't for DANI and these churches, I don't know what I would have done. God's been good to me," said Reid, who is a Vietnam-era veteran who is mostly confined to a wheelchair.

During May, volunteer crews from each congregation will assemble the house, construct and finish the interior, as well as finish the exterior. The construction crews will be supervised by Jess Vandergraff, construction coordinator for DANI and an employee of Habitat for Humanity of Lafayette.

The partially-assembled package was delivered on May 7 and unloaded by students from the Twin Lakes Building Trades Technology program, under the guidance of teacher Scott Billings. The remainder of the house will be purchased through DANI's Nehemiah Partners program which allows every local dollar to be matched by three dollars from the Indiana Natural Disaster Fund.

"We welcome other people from the community to join us in this build," according to Alan Welch, director for DANI. "People can volunteer to help construct the house, regardless of their skill level, can provide food for the volunteers, and we will always welcome tax-deductible contributions that can be used toward the Nehemiah Partner match."

A celebration of the completion of the house is planned for Memorial Day, May 25.

Several other flood recovery projects are underway in the area under DANI's supervision. Volunteers can arrange to work by leaving a message at 877-773-0249 (toll-free) or sending e-mail to director@danifloood.org.

Donations toward the flood recovery work are also welcome. Additional information is available at the DANI Web site, http://daniflood.org.

What is DANI?

Disaster Assistance for Northwest Indiana is the long-term recovery agency that is a coalition of more than 30 local faith- and community-based organizations including three United Methodist Churches who have joined to help the survivors of the record flooding in January and February 2008. DANI's efforts are focused on Benton, Carroll, Cass, Fulton, Jasper, Pulaski, Tippecanoe and White Counties. To date, more than 100 cases have been closed, and more than $750,000 has been expended toward the flood recovery effort.
For more information, visit daniflood.org, call 765-742-4718 or e-mail welchah@gmail.com.

Alan Welch serves as director of the Disaster Assistance for Northwest Indiana (DANI) and is located at 1021 N 10th Street, Lafayette, IN 47904.