Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity will dedicate 13th home this weekend

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity officials are planning a ceremony this weekend to dedicate the organization's latest home, a three-bedroom house on Crouch Mesa that has been built for a Farmington woman and her three children.

Hope Tyler, the executive director of the organization, said the ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 9 at 33 County Road 3319 in Aztec on Crouch Mesa. The event will include recognition of the group's board members, volunteers and sponsors, as well as a liturgy delivered by board member Frank Hayes, the presentation of new quilts to the home's residents, a Facebook Live tour of the home and snacks.

"It's a celebration to welcome the family into the home," Tyler said.

She said the event also is a good way for anyone who is interested in the work of Habitat for Humanity to learn more about the organization and to thank the people who have pitched in time, materials or money to build the new home.

The new house − which is being built for Farmington resident Carlla Lobato and her three children − features three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Tyler said the home isn't quite finished yet, as work still needs to be completed on the septic system, but Habitat officials hope the family will be able to move in by late August or early September.

New kitchen appliances were being installed in the home on July 5, she said. It features a walk-in pantry, which is a new feature for Habitat homes in San Juan County.

Homeowner Carlla Lobato attaches numbers to her new house on Crouch Mesa that is being built for her and her family by Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity.

This will be the latest home the organization has built on Crouch Mesa, and the site was the last vacant lot Habitat owned on the mesa.

"We are actively looking for more land to build homes on," she said.

Tyler, who was promoted to executive director in June after serving for several years as Habitat's fundraising and public relations director, said the organization now will turn its attention to completing two home improvement projects for needy applicants before the end of 2022. Those could consist of the construction of wheelchair ramps, exterior painting, or the installation of new windows or gutters, she said, depending on what the applicant needs.

While anyone is allowed to apply to be the recipient of the home improvement work, she said, Habitat tries to focus its work on homes owned by military veterans or seniors, she said.

The process of finding a recipient for the organization's next home likely won't begin until early in 2023, Tyler said, when the application period opens. Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity tries to build one new home each year, though that schedule is dependent on how successful the group is at raising money, she said.

Construction supervisor Greg Anderson, left, is joined by a group of volunteers in the kitchen of the new home the organization is building on Crouch Mesa.

But if all goes well, Tyler said the organization likely will start construction of its 14th home in the middle of next year.

Visit tresrioshabitat.com or call 505-326-5379 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.