BULLHEAD CITY — Rich Tempelman’s prayer Thursday afternoon acknowledged the blowing wind, which he said served as a reminder that “change is in the air.”
The change is a major one for James and Sarah Chambers and their four children.
The Bullhead City couple have been selected for the next local Habitat For Humanity home, and were among those wielding shovels Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony.
Tempelman, president of Bullhead Regional Habitat For Humanity, said it’s been a long time coming, but that the organization is ready to move into the construction phase. Once the city approves the plans, he said, construction can start in earnest.
“That’s the only thing between us getting a backhoe here to start digging trenches,” he said.
The new home will be built on Swan Drive, next door to where the family lives now.
Sarah Chambers said that the new home will be better for the health of the children, as their current residence has a leaking roof and other issues; she said the children also will be playing farther from the street than now.
James Chambers noted that the new home will have more room, meaning that 13-year-old James IV and 18-month-old Emily will have their own rooms.
Sarah Chambers said in August that the couple’s dream has been to build a home that can be passed on to the children, a sentiment she repeated Thursday.
“I’m very excited to start the new journey,” she said. “It means a new future for our kids.”
Tempelman said the new house will have a contemporary design and include a two-car garage. A fence may be added, he said. Atop the home will be a solar power system, donated by Mohave Electric Cooperative.
The digging was largely ceremonial, but enthusiastic. James IV and his brothers Noah, 5 and Andrew, 3, joined in, the latter pair using plastic shovels brought by Lainie Shimpa, who chairs Habitat’s family support committee.
“We just wanted to make the kids to be a part of it,” Tempelman said.
James Chambers said that the groundbreaking represented the truth of a Habitat For Humanity motto, “building hope.”
“They’ve shown us that there’s something better,” he said. “And that there’s a way to get there.”
The new Chambers home will be the third built by Bullhead Regional Habitat For Humanity. The first is nearby, while the second was built in Fort Mohave.
“Looks like this one’s going to be terrific,” Tempelman said.
He said that Habitat has the money on hand to get the job done, and that Redmond Construction has been chosen as general contractor for the project.
Tempelman said the organization is recruiting volunteers to help with the construction; many already have signed up.
“We want to get as much done with volunteer labor as possible,” Tempelman said.
The Chamberses’ responsibilities will include “sweat equity” working on the project and paying off a no-interest mortgage on their new home.
“We’d love to have them in by Easter,” Tempelman said, while acknowledging that may not be realistic. He said early summer is a more likely move-in time.
Whenever the move is done, he said, the Chamberses’ current residence will be hauled away.
“This is a really special time,” Tempelman said of the ceremony. “It’ll be emotional for me when we move the people in.”
Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Bullhead Regional Habitat For Humanity at 928-763-4775.