The Northwest Partners, a group comprising members of 10 northwest area churches, has begun its 19th house-building project for Habitat for Humanity.

The Northwest Partners, a group comprising members of 10 northwest area churches, has begun its 19th house-building project for Habitat for Humanity.

On Saturday, volunteers held a wall raising ceremony for the home they are building on Fairwood Avenue in east Columbus for Deborah Grayson. The ranch style home will have three bedrooms and one and a half baths when it is completed, house lead John Fisher said.

"We're shooting to have the house completed by the middle of February," he said. "Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I'll take a lot of days like (Saturday)."

Between 150 and 200 volunteers will work a total of about 3,000 hours to build the house, Fisher said.

Habitat for Humanity found the site for the home and selected Grayson, who went through the organization's application process.

Northwest Partners organizes the volunteer workforce and raises nearly $60,000 as its share of the cost of the project, Fisher said.

"Each church raises it share in different ways," he said. "Some hold special fundraising events, others take it out of their general fund."

The member churches include Holy Trinity Lutheran, Northwest Christian, Saint Mark's, UA Lutheran, Riverside UMC, Trinity UMC, St. Agatha, First Community, St. Andrew and Covenant Presbyterian.

"We couldn't do this without the volunteers from our participating churches," Fisher said.

The Northwest Partners builds one house each year, he said.

Holy Trinity member Benson Ross has been participating in the house building projects for 12 years.

"It's such a great cause and so worthwhile to help people get into affordable housing," Ross said. "A long time ago I was almost homeless myself, so I'm passionate about this program.

"There's great satisfaction to see all these people come out and volunteer their time and effort," he said. "A big part of this is the fellowship. And there's such a payoff when the families get to move in. They are so grateful. It makes you feel good."

Building a house involves a lot of hard work, Fisher said, "but when you see a family move into their new house, it's an amazing feeling.

"I remember at our dedication ceremony at the house we built last year, the kids and grandkids were all upstairs while the adults were downstairs," he said. "We could hear the kids moving around upstairs playing and I thought, this house truly is now a home. The feeling's unbelievable."

For Grayson, Saturday was a special day indeed.

"I'm so excited and grateful for Habitat for Humanity and these dear people," she said. "I'm going to be out here myself on Saturdays helping to build.

"I just feel so blessed," Grayson said. "I bring my little dog, Buddy, out here and say, 'this is where your new house is going to be.'

"I'm never going to forget these people and what they are doing for me," she said.