Habitat expands, changes name

Local Habitat to have presence in three counties

Staff report

Barely a month after Jeff Lamoureux was hired to increase the local presence of Habitat for Humanity of Boone and Greene Counties, the board has decided to keep right on increasing — into a third county.

Lamoureux, of Jefferson, who came on board in December as the organization’s first-ever associate director, has been given the added responsibility of introducing Habitat to Guthrie County and directing activities there, in addition to supporting volunteers in Greene County.

The move comes with a name change for the entire organization.

Wisely deciding against Habitat for Humanity of Boone and Greene and Guthrie Counties, the local affiliate of the international Christian housing ministry will now be known as Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity.

“While I’m still fairly new with Habitat, learning the many things that come together to make it all happen, I already have a lot of enthusiasm for what we’ll be doing in Guthrie County,” Lamoureux said Monday in a statement. “I’ve already learned that what Habitat does isn’t only critical for the families assisted, but it also provides an important opportunity for local Christians to live out their faith in service to others.

“We’re going to have a great first year together.”

A native of New Hampton, Lamoureux previously served the city of Jefferson for 10 years as Parks and Recreation director.

A Navy veteran and graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, he also serves on the board of the Greene County Community School District.

Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity hopes to begin repairing houses across Guthrie County this year under the locally-developed, nationally-recognized Helping Hands program.
While there will remain a central board of directors, there will also now be a board of directors in each county to coordinate and direct their respective counties.

The central administrative office will remain in Boone, with a new full-time office in Jefferson.

Remaining as executive director will be Erich Kretzinger, a Boone County resident and Jefferson native.

“While I’d prefer to work myself out of a job and see all of our local families living in safe, decent and affordable housing, reality shows the housing need is greater than ever and our work is far from done,” Kretzinger said. “We’re stretching to serve even more families by expanding into Guthrie County, and I look forward to our new volunteers making an immediate and lasting impact.”

Harry Ahrenholtz, of Jefferson, is the 2015 president of Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity, with Angie Jewett, of rural Grand Junction, as vice president.

Carla Werre, of Madrid, is secretary, and Randy Purdy, of Boone, is treasurer.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing.

All persons are welcome as partner families and volunteers regardless of religious beliefs.

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