Church, state come together for housing project in Port Hadlock

PORT HADLOCK — Church members, county officials, pastors and social service workers gathered Friday on the grounds of Community United Methodist Church to celebrate the start of construction for a low-income housing project that will bring people out of the cold.

“There is nothing quite as rewarding as being able to create a place and a building that really makes a positive difference in people’s lives,” said architect Rex Bond, one of the speakers at Friday’s outdoor ceremony.

Called South Seven Senior Village, the project is located on seven acres adjacent to the church on which 15 apartments for seniors will be built. The address of the church and the project is Church Lane, but according to Vanessa Brower of Olympic Community Action Programs, the county has requested a different address for the project.

Thinking of possible names, OlyCAP director Dan Wollam suggested State Street, she said.

“He said that way, if people ask where South Seven is, they can say it’s on the corner of Church and State,” Brower said.

Ceremony amid snow

Despite a dusting of snow and frozen ground, Margaret Matheson, Evelyn Mosher and Jeanne Straub managed to extract a few shovels of dirt to launch the project, which they have worked on for six years.

Standing under white tents, about 60 people attended the ceremony, which was opened with prayer by Mark Williams, the former Methodist Church pastor.

Williams also led singing and played a song he wrote about believing in miracles.

Diane Johnson, church lay leader, told the story of how South Seven began with a conversation among five women — herself, Matheson, Liz Ammeter, Patrice Varello-Daylo and Linda Haskell of OlyCAP — about the scarcity of low-income housing in the area.

“Then we realized the church has land,” Johnson said. “If you’ve ever been grabbed by the spirit, this was one those times.”

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