Habitat for Humanity Salvaging Homes Destroyed for US-31 Project

Homes are being destroyed in La Paz as the new US-31 project moves through Marshall County.  But, thanks to a partnership between INDOT contractors and Habitat for Humanity, not everything is ending up in the junk pile.

"We’re salvaging materials that we can sell in the ReStore and also we’re salvaging things that we can sell for scrap,” explained Dean Beyers, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Marshall County.

On Saturday Beyers and Habitat Volunteers sifted through a home on 1-B road that’s set to be destroyed.  They pulled out doors, cabinets, water heaters, air ducts and even copper wiring.  They hope to sell the scrap metal for cash and resell some of the other items.

"Habitat runs on a shoestring and any revenue we can generate is helpful in helping us build a house, it takes about $50,000 to build a house," Beyers explained.

Habitat proposed the salvage operation to a US-31 project supervisor.  The contractor, Walsh and Kelly, agreed to partner to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

"It's not the first time we've done something like this, we are always happy when we can do something like this,” explained INDOT Spokesman Jim Pinkerton.  “To make some good come out of a situation where it would normally just be a scrap pile."

After the salvage there was a big scrap pile.  But, now it will be put to good use.  Dean Beyers wasn’t able to estimate how much Habitat would make from this salvage.

"It's a lot, you can imagine a three-bedroom house and what you can take out of it," Beyers explained.

 INDOT is hopeful the partnership can continue as US-31 moves on.

“My hope is that we have these two companies that are working together now if this is successful in everybody’s eyes…that they’ll do that on future contracts as more houses need to be removed as part of this project,” Pinkerton explained.

According to Pinkerton the US-31 project is on schedule to complete construction by 2014.


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