About Habitat

Emporia Habitat builds Foundations, Homes, and Lives.

Curtis and Winona Rhoades founded the Emporia Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate in 1989. The first house was completed in 1991, and to date, 16 houses have been completed. Emporia Habitat tithes a portion of all fundraising dollars to help eliminate poverty housing internationally.

Habitat Homeowners

Homeowners are selected based on their application and two home visits, level of need, condition of their current substandard housing, willingness to partner, and ability to repay the loan. Their income should be between the poverty level and 150% of the poverty level. Neither race nor religion is considered. About 12 to 18 applications are received for each house.

Habitat houses are simple, decent, and affordable and sold to partner families who have completed 300 hours of sweat equity as a down payment. Families then assume a 20-year, interest-free mortgage to Emporia Habitat, with average payments of $425 to $450 per month. Their mortgage payments are usually well below what they were paying for rent for substandard housing. The payment includes insurance and taxes, set aside in escrow. The payments on principal go toward expenses for the next house.

Habitat Activities

The Family Support committee is available to the homeowner in many ways. While the house is being built, the committee provides food for Saturday workdays, transportation, advice, answers questions , and are helpful in other ways. Classes on personal finance, home management, etc., are set up. The committee arranges the house dedication ceremony when a home is completed and turned over to the homeowner. It is always an emotional time for the new homeowner. The family is remembered on special occasions and the holidays. For six months after the home is turned over to the family, the committee checks with them regularly.

Volunteering is what Habitat is all about. Habitat for Humanity challenges people of compassion through volunteer labor, building skills, management expertise, and tax-deductible donations of money and materials to build houses with the help of the homeowners. On one house, over 80 different individuals worked on it.

Board of Directors

President Kirby Smith
Vice President  
Secretary Sally Conard
Treasurer Bryon Rosine
Past President Kirby Smith
Jim Kessler
Founder Curtis Rhoades
Family Support Chair Myrna Scott
Family Selection Mary Stauffer
Public Relations Jim Stephens
Volunteer Cordinator Myrna Stephens
Website Developer George Walters
Homeowner Education  

Family Support Committee

  • Myrna Scott, Chair
  • Yvette Sosa
  • June Hubert

Family Selection Committee

  • Mary Stauffer, Chair
  • Patrick Werly
  • Steve Young
  • Jesse Solis

Licensed Contractor

  • Daniel Niell of Niell Home Builders

Major Contributors

  • Emporia Roofing Company LLC – Charles LeClear
  • Burnham Basement & Foundation Repair Inc. – Max Burnham
  • Mark II Lumber
  • Modern Air Conditioning Inc.
  • Ray Fancher, Eaves & Downspouts