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The Tres Rios chapter has constructed 11 homes in San Juan County.

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FARMINGTON — When volunteers for Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity began pouring the foundation for the latest house the organization was building in April, their aim was to have it finished by mid-December so that the recipient family could enjoy the holidays in the new home.

Well, not only will Santana Garcia and her four daughters celebrate Christmas and New Year's Day in the house, they'll also experience Halloween and Thanksgiving there, thanks to the speedy work of the crew that built the Crouch Mesa structure.

"We beat our record," Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity spokesperson Hope Tyler said Oct. 23 after the final inspections were made and a certificate of occupancy was issued for the house, which is the 11th home the organization has completed in San Juan County. "Our last house took us seven months."

This one only took five and a half months, she said, thanks to the dedication of the approximately 60 people who volunteered to help build it, including several members of the local carpenters union. Tyler also credited the work of Greg Anderson, who served as the construction supervisor for the project.

"He spends a lot of time making sure these houses go well," Tyler said. "He likes to say, 'I would house everybody, if I could.'"

The three-bedroom, two-bath home includes a number of decorative elements and special features that add to its value, including:

  • A skylight
  • A reading nook
  • Recessed kitchen lighting
  • Suspended bar lighting
  • A covered deck
  • A walk-in shower

It also has central air and heating, a two-car garage, outdoor security lighting and a storage shed.

Showcase on Dustin concert to benefit Habitat for Humanity

It's a big week for the local chapter of the international nonprofit organization that provides quality housing for families in need. The group was the recipient of the Chicken for a Cause fundraiser at the Farmington Chick-fil-A location on Oct. 24, and it will be the beneficiary of the Showcase on Dustin concert series event this weekend.

Jeff Solon's Swing'n Big Band will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the First Presbyterian Church, 865 N. Dustin Ave. in Farmington. Tickets are $20, and include wine and hors d'oeuvres. More information about the show is available at 505-327-5231.

Applications open for Habitat renovations

Tyler hopes the concert raises in the neighborhood of $3,000 for the Tres Rios chapter, which will allow the organization to begin planning the construction of another new home. In the meantime, Tyler said, the local chapter will focus on doing extensive renovations of four homes — one per quarter — in 2020.

Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications for those projects on its website at tresrioshabitat.com. Tyler said the group is especially interested in assisting disabled people, veterans or Native Americans, particularly those getting by in unsafe or unlivable conditions.

She said the renovation work the organization performs typically consists of:

  • Installing new windows and gutters
  • Painting interior and exterior walls
  • Improving accessibility
  • Fixing foundations

Future homes depend on funding

The organization still owns one vacant lot on Crouch Mesa and has three in Aztec that it will use for new homes in the future, Tyler said. But it has to have $140,000 set aside before it can mount such a project, so Habitat officials will be working on raising that money in the wake of the completion of the most recent home.

"It all depends on funding," Tyler said in response to a question about when the group would start building again.

Garcia and her daughters will begin moving into their new home soon, and a 10 a.m. dedication ceremony is planned for Nov. 23. Coffee and cake will be served before the ceremony, and everyone is welcome to attend, as Tres Rios Habitat officials are eager to show off the quality of the homes they build.

"We're a little different from other Habitat chapters," Tyler said. "They tend to concentrate on building small homes and doing it quickly. … Our goal is to build high-quality homes."

Call 505-326-5379 for more information about Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity.

Previously: Habitat for Humanity building new home on Crouch Mesa

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610,, or via email at measterling@daily-times.com.

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