Making a house a home

HANCOCK COUNTY — Trish Botta dreams of the day when she can step out her front door and walk to downtown Greenfield — and that day is coming.

Botta, who currently lives in New Palestine with her sister, will be the resident of the county’s first Habitat for Humanity house — as soon as organizers can raise about $67,000 for construction costs and assemble a team of willing volunteers.

Habitat, a Christian organization that partners with community stakeholders to provide housing for people in need, relies on donations of both cash and materials, as well as volunteers for its building and renovation projects, said Abri Hochstetler, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity marketing and communications coordinator.

The Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity has met with a few local groups and encouraged them to support the upcoming Greenfield project, but so far, only about 10 percent of the organization’s $75,000 fundraising goal has been reached, Hochstetler said.

Meanwhile, Botta is looking forward to having a home of her own.

“I’m looking forward to putting down roots,” Botta said. “I can’t wait to really live in Greenfield.”

Construction will begin on the first Habitat house in Hancock County in the spring and should take about 20 days, but first, Habitat needs businesses and organizations in the community to pledge donations for the house’s construction, said Ted Mosey, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity director of development.

Partner agencies can be churches, businesses and organizations, as well as interested groups, Mosey said. Partners can donate any amount, from about $250 — Groundbreaker level sponsorship — to $100,000 or more, which garners the partner agency the title of “Dreambuilder,” according to the Indy Habitat for Humanity website. Groups also can opt to sponsor one day of the construction, Hochstetler said.

Greater Indy Habitat also is seeking individual volunteers or volunteer groups to help with the building, Mosey said.

The organization offers seven different house models and selects them based on the family’s needs, the lot size and architectural style of the neighborhood. The homes are three to five bedrooms, and between 1,100 and 1,700 square feet.

The organization built 25 homes in the greater Indianapolis area in 2015 and plans to build 21 this year.

Botta, like all Habitat homeowners, is required to work 300 hours volunteering at other home constructions and to take finance and basic home maintenance classes.

Helping to build Habitat houses in the greater Indianapolis area has been surprisingly fun, Botta said. From skilled labor like wiring to less-intensive tasks like painting walls and even bringing snacks, opportunities abound for helpers of all backgrounds, she said.

Habitat operations expanded to include Hancock County in mid 2015, when Habitat opened its Hancock County ReStore, a home improvement thrift store that sells donated new and gently used merchandise at a discount to the public. Proceeds benefit the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.

Hochstetler said the Greater Indy Habitat is excited to begin building a stronger presence in the county with the construction of this first house.

At a Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity kickoff breakfast in late January, organizations officials met with 70-plus community members to talk more about the building project.

Once she receives the keys, Botta will begin payments on a no-interest mortgage, which will be used to fund future Habitat endeavors, Hochstetler said.

Botta is grateful for anyone who donates their time or resources to the construction of her home, she said.

“I would love to have the name of everyone who helps,” she said. “I have a feeling it will be a huge list.”

Do you qualify?

Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity is looking to partner with first-time homebuyers living in Marion, Hendricks and Hancock counties.

Applicants must:

  • Show they have had a stable income for the past two years
  • Prove financial need
  • Have had no outstanding liens or bankruptcies for two years
  • Agree to take Habitat for Humanity finance classes and volunteer on other home constructions

For more information, visit or contact the homeowner hotline at 317-777-6080. 

How to help

Construction on Trish Botta’s house is expected to begin this spring and summer. The organization needs local volunteers and sponsors before building can start.

For more information about how to join the effort, contact Ted Mosey, the director of development for Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, at 317-777-6091 or visit

To make a donation, visit

Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or