July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Nonprofit scavenger crews clean out doomed homes

Lisa Hlavinka | The Gazette

GLORIA GLENS — From the doorknob to the door itself, nonprofit groups are scrapping whatever they can from homes that will be razed by the county for floodplain mitigation.

Medina County Habitat for Humanity is pulling items from the houses on Twilight Trail — windows, cabinetry, bathtubs — to sell at Re-Store, 4930 Chippewa Road, Montville Township. At its Re-Store, Habitat sells hardware, plumbing and fixtures, and puts the money toward building homes for low-income families. The store is open on Saturdays only.

“We don’t leave much behind,” Habitat board member Larry Wells said. “This all goes to the store. We have the attitude that if we get $10 for something, that’s $10 toward building a house.”

ABOVE: John Brown, of Liverpool Township, was one of many volunteers Thursday afternoon for Medina County Habitat for Humanity who were removing salvageable materials from the homes to resell at the group’s Re-Store shop. Proceeds from the sales go toward building new homes for clients. BELOW: Larry Wells, a Medina County Habitat for Humanity board member from Chippewa Lake, removes a deck from a Twilight Trail home Thursday in Gloria Glens. Six homes on the street will be razed as part of a floodplain mitigation project.(Shirley Ware | Staff Photographer)

Habitat for Humanity builds 1,200-square-foot ranch homes and finances them at zero percent interest for those that are approved, said Wells, of Chippewa Lake.

Six homes on Twilight Trail will be destroyed. Habitat for Humanity is gutting three homes, and the faith-based Matthew 25 Coalition is taking items from three others.

Matthew 25 is mostly concerned with matching furnaces and water heaters to needy families in the area, Wells said.

“If we didn’t take them as a donation, they’d end up in a landfill, when they can still be used,” he said.

Matthew 25 even made use of a small screened-in porch, which the group moved in its entirety, leaving only the concrete foundation.

“They loaded it in a flatbed truck,” Wells said. “They’re going to put skylights in it and build a growing room.”

Matthew 25 did not return a message seeking comment.

Once the homes are cleared out, local fire departments will burn them for training, said Christina Fozio, deputy director of the Medina County Emergency Management Agency.

Before they can, however, fire departments must remove certain carcinogens from the homes, like shingles and treated wood decks. Wells was helping disassemble a deck on Thursday from a home to assist fire departments in removing the dangerous materials before the first burn date of April 25.

The EMA coordinated the floodplain mitigation project, purchasing 43 homes between 2003 and 2009. The purpose of floodplain mitigation is to lower the number of insurance claims made on homes that flood several weeks or even months out of the year.

When it is finished, the area will serve not only as a floodplain, but as a park during dry times, Fozio said.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.