Rock the Block volunteers repair three Perry houses Saturday

Dallas County Habitat for Humanity seeks Saturday morning volunteers for wall building in Dallas Center. Past volunteers included, from left, Ainsley Marburger of Perry, Grace Marburger of Perry, Gyzylgul Hojalyyeva of Turkmenistan, Alex Banuelos of Perry and Dallas County Habitat for Humanity Coordinator Omar Padilla.

About 25 volunteers turned out early Saturday ready to Rock the Block in a home-repair program of Habitat for Humanity in Perry.

Three Perry owner-occupied homes will get the special treatment today in the first outreach efforts of the recently reorganized Dallas County Habitat for Humanity office.

Omar Padilla, coordinator of the Dallas County Habitat for Humanity, said he was pleased to see the number of volunteers who came to help.

“We’ve been seeing great support across the county,” Padilla said, “and especially in Perry. I’m excited to see people are really concerned about the city’s housing and are eager for improvements. And that’s exactly why Habitat for Humanity is here.”

Padilla was named Dallas County Habitat for Humanity coordinator in May.

Lance Henning, executive director of the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity office, which partners with the Dallas County office, said there is a lot of energy in the new Dallas County branch of the organization. Henning has been with Habitat for Humanity for 11 years, he said.

Homeowners in need of repairs to their dwellings can apply to Habitat for Humanity and receive assistance from volunteers, according to Jake Ross, construction manager of the Rock the Block program in Perry.

“We canvas neighborhoods and try to choose homes where we can have the greatest impact on families and on the quality of lives in the community,” Ross said.

The time from filing an application to the first hammer blows can be as little as two to four weeks, Ross said.

“The process can be pretty quick,” he said. “Once we assess the work that needs to be done and check the eligibility of the family, things move right along.”

Padilla said Dallas County Habitat for Humanity will be “a visible and active presence going forward. ¬†We’re here to help.”


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