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Paid off in Caz

Sam Lorn Song

Originally from Cambodia, Song survived the Khmer Rouge regime walking 300 miles in the process. He has been able to visit Cambodia five times since moving to Caz.

"I love Cazenovia. Nobody bothers me. I have good neighbors," Song said. "I plant trees; they grow."

Song has a wife and four kids and works at Continental Cordage on Burton Street.

"They were just a joy to work with because they were so happy and friendly, a delightful family," Baier said.

Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individual and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat houses.

"A lot of people who've helped in the past show up, a lot of regular volunteers," Baier said. "We encourage a group to work together as a group."

Partner families themselves invest hundreds of hours of labor - sweat equity - into building their homes and the homes of others. Usually there is a small down payment. Their mortgage payments go into a revolving Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses.

"They put in a ton of hours," Baier said.

Habitat uses skilled labor like electricians and plumbers, and they need people for drywall, to dig a well, to install a septic system. But they also accept and embrace volunteers of any kind.

"We'll do our best to find work for anyone's skill level," Baier said.

House number nine

Today, Caz Habitat is building a house in Erieville on Sanderson Road for Tess Marshall and Gordon Baker. This is the ninth house-building project for the Caz affiliate.

"We're looking for the house to be closed in by winter," Baier said. "They could be in by Christmas depending on what kind of help we get."

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