Copper stolen from Habitat for Humanity homes meant for needy families

Copper stolen from Habitat for Humanity homes meant for needy families

Theft causes major damage for a local non-profit as they put the finishing touches on a home meant for a needy family.

Habitat for Humanity Calcasieu volunteers are piecing the home together board by board in the 100 block of Bank Street to help single mother of four Keisha Guillory have a home by the new year.

"I can't wait to move in," said future homeowner Guillory.

"She's been on her own since she finished high school working and paying bills and hasn't really had anything to look forward to," said Keisha's aunt Patricia Huren.

After months of hard labor, construction manager Brian Kingsnorth said a copper theft set the team back a few weeks.

A smashed door frame, jagged hole in sheet rock at the back of the home and a damaged air conditioning unit were all casualties of the break-in. The thief stole copper wiring to the tune of $3,000 in damages and Kingsnorth estimates the value of the metal only at $40 at a scrap yard.

He also said Guillory's home is not the only Habitat project targeted.

"About a week after this one they broke into one across the street. We have a house on the next block over. They broke in there and did the same thing. Then three houses on North Franklin Street..." explained Kingsnorth.

The organization installed alarm systems in the homes that Kingsnorth hopes will deter any further burglaries. Volunteers are down to the last phases and even Guillory puts in 300 or more hours of sweat equity.

"I was coming by everyday for a while just to see [the progress]," said Guillory.

"They're earning this. They are paying for this. This isn't a donation that somebody just gives them a house," explained Wade Witt, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and owner of Howell Furniture.

"It's just really powerful that they can have a good safe home," said Julie Giordano, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Calcasieu.

Kingsnorth said the insurance deductible is about equal to the cost of repairs, so the $3,000 in damages will come out of Habitat for Humanity's pocket.

The organization expects to start closing on the home for Guillory in January.

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