Search on for disabled vet needing a home


Aproject unlike any other attempted in western Monmouth County before is under way to help a disabled veteran.

Donations of funds and volunteerism have been mounting to place a disabled veteran needing housing in a new home, according to Lauren Sampson, of Western Monmouth Habitat for Humanity.

Western Monmouth Habitat for Humanity is embarking on a construction project that was the brainchild of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts called the Patriot Guard. Members of the Patriot Guard attend the funeral services of fallen American military service personnel to show respect for those who serve and their families, and to establish a nonviolent barrier between grieving families and potential protesters. The group also provides motorcycle escorts for returning disabled veterans to their homes.

In October 2008, many of the riders in the Patriot Guard participated in Western Monmouth Habitat for Humanity’s ninth annual Motorcycle Ride for Affordable Housing. They suggested that the habitat group earmark

all proceeds from the ride to building a home for a disabled veteran.

Allentown’s James Wishbow, founder of the habitat ride, loved the idea.

“What a wonderful way to honor those who have fought so hard for our country and are now in need of our help,” Wishbow said.

“This is just one way to give back to our veterans.”

Nearly 800 bikers from across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware came together for the ride and raised $55,000.

“It’s amazing that so many caring people— bikers, sponsors and volunteers alike — were able to make this ride our most successful one to date,” Wishbow said. “The $55,000 represents enough funds to build an entire habitat house.”

Western Monmouth Habitat for Humanity’s is now reaching out to the public for help finding candidates for the home to be built in the area with the funding raised during the ride.

In order to qualify as a partner family for this home, one family member must have at least a 30 percent military servicerelated disability or be the survivor of a deceased serviceperson. The family must have a need for suitable housing and be able to make monthly payments on a zero interest mortgage, according to Sampson.

“We’re looking for a disabled vet who has a need for adequate shelter or someone in a situation where their house is in disrepair,” Sampson said. “Or, maybe someone who is wheelchair bound and living in a house where the doors aren’t wide enough.”

The person chosen to live in the home will get an interest free mortgage, which Habitat for Humanity holds. Therefore, candidates to be considered must have the ability to pay the mortgage by making between $45,000 and $60,000 per year, according to Sampson.

Habitat for Humanity also requires that families work alongside volunteers in the building of their home, according to Sampson.

“Some people are under the impression that Habitat just builds a house and gives it to a needy family, but the family must participate and put sweat equity in the home,” she said.

If the person who qualifies for the home has a disability that prevents him/her from participating in the development of the home, he/she may be able to substitute a family member to help build the home, according to Sampson. She said Habitat developed the sweat equity policy as a means to show those who volunteer to build the homes appreciation.

“All of the people who take time off their jobs to help out like to see the families who will get the homes involved in the whole process,” Sampson said.

Potential candidates for the home to be developed in western Monmouth County must complete a prequalification form that may be obtained by calling 732- 308-3400.

Western Monmouth Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing worldwide.

Information about volunteer opportunities and donations can be found at