Jeremy Close had a vision for the two-story fixer-upper he bought in Ottawa with an inheritance check.
Despite the house being nearly completely gutted, the disabled Marine veteran saw an opportunity to move his family of four out of his parents' 1,100-square-foot house.
He's been working on the house himself since October. Although he's spent his days and nights removing wiring and plumbing to safely restore the house, he realized he will need help both physically and financially if he hopes to move his family in before the school year begins.
That's where Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties is assisting.
Close reached out to the agency for assistance and has complied with the guidelines of the Habitat Veterans Build Program.
The organization has offered him overstock it has while working on its new home build on Catherine Street in Ottawa, including insulation, toilets, sinks, tile, electrical equipment and paint.
But there is so much that’s needed, including volunteers to help, the organization said.
About 15 people attended an open house Saturday at the Ottawa Avenue home to drum up support for Close's project.
Habitat is asking for volunteers Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning Wednesday, July 8. Anyone wanting to help can contact the office at 815-434-2041.
"Reaching out for help was a hard decision for him," said his wife, Jordan Johnson.
Close admitted it was a wise decision.
"For anyone else out there in the same situation, I'd encourage them to reach out for help before you get too far in," Close said. "I've received so much help just in the level of information and knowledge people are sharing. It really saves you from doing something before you might have to go back and redo it."
Close is a lifelong resident in the Ottawa area and is a returning disabled veteran. He has completed tours of combat duty in the Haditha Triad and one involved in the retaking of Fallujah.
The inheritance he used to buy the house was from a family member and veteran who lost his life to PTSD.
Close plans to use the garage to set up a woodworking shop and business to provide for his family, which includes two children ages 4 and 1.
"This is a wonderful story and the kind of project we want to be involved in," said Sally M. Van Cura, executive director at Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties. "We want to help out our veterans as much as we can."
When Close first floated buying the house, Johnson was apprehensive, she said. Now, she's seeing her husband's vision more and more, and she's not the only one.
Visitors at Saturday's open house were nodding along: "I can see it."