In 2010, Bill’s family paid off their mortgage in full. Bill and his wife started building their home in Kapa‘a with Kaua`i Habitat for Humanity in 1994, when daughter Jamie was in diapers, and Crystal was just old enough to help out on the house. When Bill came by to drop off his final payment, everyone took a moment to talk story over cake and coffee about the family’s Habitat experience.
Bill’s father, who is half Hawaiian, applied for Hawaiian Homelands long ago but was never able to get land. So when Bill came back to Kaua‘i after serving in Vietnam, he bought a piece of land on the Eastside, but could not yet afford to build a house. He and his family were renting and moving from house to house when they heard about Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity. Hurricane ‘Iniki had hit the island recently and torn the roof of their rental home, and Kaua‘i Habitat was making a huge public effort to build houses in the wake of the destruction. Bill applied for a Habitat house and by 1994 his home was built through the labor of the family’s own sweat equity, local volunteers, and volunteer groups from the mainland.
Crystal remembers her reluctance to work hard as a kid, but she also remembers a lot of fun as part of her homebuilding memories. Jamie was “the baby” of the family without as many work responsibilities, but she was the one (with Bill’s help) to put the last nail in their brand new home. Both Crystal and Jamie still live with their father in the family home where they grew up with their siblings.
Bill and his daughters were all smiles when they gave the check to Executive Director Stephen Spears and had a chance to reminisce on their accomplishment. Bill remembered the first time he met LaFrance Kapaka-Arboleda, the first Director of Kaua‘i Habitat, when he asked permission to hunt near their property some 20 years ago. Today, Bill still hunts pig in Wai‘ale‘ale and Koke‘e and fishes for akule on the Eastside. After months of labor and love put into building their Habitat home, the Bill and his family now have many years of good memories in their family home that they can enjoy for generations to come.