One Year Ago

Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County dedicated this home on Orchard Street in New Haven to the Pohlmann family in December 2014. The dedication included the house presentation, prayer of dedication, presentation of the keys and a Bible and thanks to the many volunteers and donors who helped make the home possible. Visitors also had a chance to tour the home. From left are Audrey Freitag and Karen Dawson, with Habitat for Humanity, presenting the Bible to Holly Pohlmann and her children, Merlin and Justice. Pohlmann, who is now engaged and expecting her third child, was emotional as she thanked everyone who contributed to the home.    Missourian File Photo.

It’s been just over a year since Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County dedicated its New Haven home to Holly Pohlmann and her children Justice, 9, and Merlin, 5. The project was dubbed “Holly’s Home for the Holidays.”

And things continue to look up for the family, Pohlmann said, reflecting on the past year.

“A lot has changed in one year,” she said. “We’re getting ready to expand.”

Holly and her fiance Raoul Ramirez are expecting a baby girl, Willow Rose, this April.

In July, the family is planning a trip to Ventura, Calif., where they will get married in a beach ceremony. Both are originally from California and have family there.

Without the help from Habitat for Humanity, Pohlmann said she would likely still be living with her parents.

“Without Habitat, we would still be struggling to get into a house of our own,” she said. “I’m just so grateful for everything they did and the way they helped our family.”

Pohlmann is a teacher at Denim & Daisies Learning Center in Washington. She also works at Lil Shamrocks Learning Center, New Haven, as needed.

Karen Dawson, past president of Habitat for Humanity, said Pohlmann takes great care of her home. The two still keep in touch.

“I think she’s learned a lot about home ownership and she’s handled it beautifully,” Dawson said. “I know they’re looking forward to their second Christmas in their new home.”

In addition to the New Haven home, which was built from the ground up, Habitat for Humanity also rehabbed a home on Christina Avenue in Union in 2015.

That home was dedicated to the Ahrianna and Adam Sasche family, who have one child and are expecting a second.

They were unavailable for comment before The Missourian went to press Tuesday.

“They’re two really lovely young couples who we’re really proud of,” said Dawson, adding that both families have adapted to home ownership.

“They show exactly what we’re wanting to do, which is get families out of the cycle of renting,” she said.

Looking Ahead, Advice

In the next year, Pohlmann said she would like to add a fence to their yard, not only for her children, but for the new family dog they adopted earlier this year.

Pohlmann’s advice to the next Habitat family is to get involved and be excited.

“Enjoy every moment of it, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.

Also remember that “it’s a hand up, not a hand out,” she added.

“I still have to pay the bills on my own,” she said. “Habitat is just there to get me to a good point.”

Pohlmann donated 300 hours of sweat equity in building the home and is still required to pay the mortgage.

At a Crossroads

Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County is at a crossroads, Dawson said.

The 501(c)(3) organization needs funds to buy land or for land to be donated to the organization.

“We would love to have land in Washington,” said Dawson, noting that the majority of applicants work in Washington.

The organization has been busy helping people with general maintenance and repairs.

“We live in great hopes that people will make donations,” said Dawson, adding that donations are tax deductible.

Volunteers also are always needed, she noted.

Currently, a partner family is being sought for a rehab home in the Sullivan area. People may apply online, at

Thanks Donors, Volunteers

Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County thanked volunteers and vendors for helping make the program successful.

Those who helped with the New Haven home include Bill Price, electric contractor; Corey Kloppe, excavating contractor; Eric Rugge, EMR Roofing; First Methodist Church, New Haven;

Hillermann Nursery & Florist; Holt Electric Supply; James Braun Foundations; Jim’s Heating and Cooling; Jim Schwoeppe, landscapes; Joan Howard; John Hall Lumber;

Lowe’s of Washington; Matt Hinton; Missouri Vocational Enterprises; Mr. Rooter; Muser and Associates Land Surveying; New Haven Farm and Feed; New Haven Lumber Company;

Plumbers Supply; Randy Beck; Riback Plumbing Supply; Robert Brown; Royal Neighbors of Washington; Roscoe Mayer Excavating; Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 36;

Sherwin-Williams; St. Francis Borgia Regional High School service project students; St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, New Haven; St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Social Concerns Committee, Washington; and Washington Lumber.