IRETON, Iowa | The Siouxland Home Show can be hailed for an old residence receiving new life -- and touching four lives -- just west of downtown Ireton.
So says Sioux County Director of Siouxland Habitat for Humanity Kurt Franje, who recalled manning the booth for his organization at the 2015 Siouxland Home Show at the Sioux City Convention Center.
"I was in our booth and a guy from the Boyden-Hull School District came up and asked, 'Do you take donated houses?'" Franje said.
The man was part of a family who planned to build a new home on their farmstead near Boyden, Iowa. They hadn't yet begun the building process. The man simply wanted to know what they might do with the old three-bedroom, two-story structure.
Two weeks later, Franje learned of a family who had a vacant lot in Ireton. The family, which also had adjacent property, wanted to sell the lot at a very reasonable price.
"In the fall of 2015, the homeowner from Boyden asked me again if our organization might be serious in taking their home for the Sioux County Siouxland Habitat for Humanity," Franje said.
Franje had another call to make: To Orville Vant Hul, president of Berghorst & Son, Inc., a house-moving firm from Hull, Iowa. Vant Hul told Franje the lot in Ireton would work for the rural residence near Boyden. It seemed a match was being made for the first Siouxland Habitat for Humanity home in Ireton.
Now, all that was needed was a future homeowner who met the qualifications and would commit to 350 hours of work in renovating the residence once it was put in place.
Enter Brandi Adams, a mother of three, who works two jobs and lives with her mother in Ireton. Adams learned of the program and applied through Habitat for Humanity. She was selected for the home and is currently in the midst of her 350-hour commitment. She and Franje spent a recent March day siding the home.
"It's very exciting as we get closer to completion," said Adams, the mother of three children, ages 16, 13 and 9. "It's a blessing for our family."
With Habitat's Home Ownership Program, the organization can sell the home to Adams through an affordable, no-interest mortgage. Adams will then make mortgage payments back to Habit, which enables the group to continue to build more homes and assist more families.
Franje lauded the efforts of several Siouxland and Sioux County contractors who have helped the project along through a mix of donated or discounted labor and materials. Several volunteers have also pitched in, including Adams' oldest child, son Dylan Adams, who just turned 16.
"You have to be 16 in order to be able to help," Franje said.
The organization in Sioux County, he remarked, has built or renovated three homes in Sioux Center, two homes in Rock Valley and one apiece in Alton, Orange City, and, now, Ireton. He said the plan is to have the home ready for the Adams family by the end of April.
The home features three bedrooms upstairs, along with a full kitchen, dining and living room area. There are two bathrooms upstairs as well, both of which have been gutted and will be made anew.
Brandi Adams said her plan is to someday in the near future add egress windows to the basement, thus allowing her to open up the lower level for a bedroom. The basement, at this point, remains unfinished.
The home, which has 1,636 square feet of living space, was moved in mid-August, two weeks after the hole was dug and the basement poured. Adams laughed and said people in Ireton told her that her house was "on its way to Ireton" before she could see it.
"We are grateful for all the work that has been done and for the contractors who are so generous," Franje said, adding that a fourth Sioux Center home under the Sioux County Siouxland Habitat for Humanity umbrella is awaiting a qualifying resident or family. The home, which was moved into place in December, is up on beams, awaiting its basement to be dug.
Adams listened as Franje described that project and then continued to hammer pieces of siding into place. "This is the first time in my life I've put up siding," she said. "All of this has been a great learning experience."
Later this spring, the project should become a great living experience for her family.
"It was God's timing," Franje said.
Timing that began in 2015 at the Siouxland Home Show.