Knopsnyder family thankful to Habitat for Humanity for their new home

December 14, 2018

It wasn’t long ago that the Knopsnyder family was living in a small apartment where everything seemed to be breaking and they withdrew from retirement funds to pay bills.

“We just couldn’t get a leg up,” Adrienne Knopsnyder said.

Until recently, Knopsyder and her husband, Damon, shared that deteriorating apartment with five of their six kids — that was, until Habitat for Humanity came to their aid.

“We couldn’t be more grateful,” Damon Knopsnyder said of their new house along Plank Road in Somerset.

They now have more rooms for the children, multiple bathrooms, a garage and a yard.

“We finally have a home,” he said.

The couple interviewed with Habitat board member Candy Christner in 2016, and volunteers started work in 2017.

“Their situation really was substandard,” she said. “And they passed with flying colors. They’re one of our major success stories.”

But the Habitat program isn’t a simple gift, Christner said. Applicants must help build their own home for 300 hours and work on another Habitat project for 200 hours. Many applicants balk at the requirements, but Adrienne Knopsnyder said she is proud of every nail she hammered and every tile she placed.

“The kids have to listen to me on the second floor. That’s our rule because if it wasn’t for me, it wouldn’t be there,” she said laughing.

The family, along with many Habitat volunteers, spent nearly two years building the home. Every Saturday they gathered with food, sometimes donated by local churches, and got to work.

“I feel like we were adopted into a family,” she said of the volunteer group. They teased and poked fun at each other while making a home.

Adrienne Knopsnyder said that her children love to show off their home to their friends. When their friends are amazed with their house, their faces light up.

The couple is excited to get started on someone else’s new home.

Christner said Habitat doesn’t have any new projects yet, so they are looking for property donations and monetary donations. She said they can always use new volunteers and board members. People interested in volunteering can call 814-443-9137.

“The community really supports us,” she said.

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