Eight Lions Club chapters in Lawrence County are contributing manpower and money to build the house.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Caring for two children affected by cerebral palsy hasn't been easy for Lynn Nocera.
The 23-year-old single mother lives in a cramped, two-story apartment in New Castle and often has trouble maneuvering the wheelchair used by her daughter, Rebecca.
Soon, that won't be a problem.
Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity and area Lions Club members broke ground today for a one-story, wheelchair-accessible home on Cleveland Street for Nocera and her children. Her son, Daniel, also has mobility problems but can walk.
"I think I was supposed to have a house. Just the way everything fell right together," Nocera said last week.
Her 3-year-old twins attend class at the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV Preschool in the Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church on Albert Street, just down the hall from the Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity office.
Nocera said she had been looking for a way to reach the Habitat office, not knowing it was in that building, when teachers suggested she contact Habitat director Jennifer Gordon, who was nearby.
"I had no idea they were located in the same building," Nocera said.
Unique program: Gordon said Nocera's situation qualified her for a special program offered through the Lions Club International Foundation that provides money to build houses for the disabled.
The foundation agreed to put up $34,500 for the house and the eight local Lions Clubs contributed a total of $5,600. The local Habitat chapter had to contribute $5,600 as part of the Lions Club grant program, she said.
Mike McGee, a New Castle Lion and a member of the Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity board of directors, said it wasn't hard getting the local Lions match when he visited the county's 13 chapters.
Some were too small or had other projects that prevented them from contributing, but eight chapters agreed to give money and manpower to build the house.
Members from Union Township, New Castle, Neshannock Township, New Bedford, Wampum, Volant, Laurel and New Wilmington agreed to help with construction, he said.
"Every club was very enthusiastic. We do a lot of things to raise money, but we don't physically do the work. This is a good hands-on type of project," he added.
Gordon said they aren't sure when the house will be completed, because volunteers will be building it.
In addition to the Lions, students from Westminster, Slippery Rock and other area colleges have agreed to work on the Noceras' house. Other volunteers are welcomed, she said.
This is the sixth house built by Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity.