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Habitat Kent Blog

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

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     The no. 1 “myth of Habitat for Humanity of Kent County” is that they build and give homes away for free. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

     Not only do Habitat Kent home buyers actually buy the home, they have to earn 300-500 hours of sweat equity in order to move in. This sweat equity includes working on their home and other Habitat Kent homes as well as participating in 40 hours of required educational programs. 

     These educational programs cultivate an understanding of owning a home. From budgeting to lawn maintenance, the knowledge learned by Habitat Kent homebuyers lasts a lifetime. 

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Hear the story of Ignace and his journey from Mozambique to Grand Rapids. Together with his wife and four daughters he was able to apply to the Habitat Kent homeownership program, complete his 325 hours of sweat equity, and build a home for his family. The Karageyas new home at 1045 Dorchester Ave. will be dedicated on Tuesday July 21st. 

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     Habitat Kent desire’s to create permanent change in people’s lives. We do this by building affordable and sustainable homes while empowering neighborhoods to create a positive change in the community. But as crucial as owning a home can be for a family, a reliable job can be just as influential. 

     Desire was born in Burundi and then moved to Rwanda with his parents at a very young age. He came to America to help support his family with opportunities not found back home. Because English isn’t Desire’s first language, he had trouble getting plugged into a stable career opportunity. Enter Express Employment Professionals. 

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     Since 2007, every Habitat Kent constructed home has been LEED certified. This certification means that each home represents the highest standards of sustainable building practices and healthy living quality. According to their website LEED “is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.”

     Out of 150 built LEED certified homes by Habitat Kent, one of the most recent homes in Grand Rapids, MI is a flagship in construction quality. 1561 Rathbone SW was originally an ignored home in near inhabitable conditions. This rehab project began construction in the summer heat and was host to hundreds of volunteers toiling through the dust and rotting lumber. But in half a year, the once debilitated structure stood out among the crisp winter snow as a beautiful new home for Blu and his young family. 

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Zhelle and Edward Baker were lost. Drug addiction and unalterable external circumstances left them in poor housing conditions. These conditions impacted their family by being unable to thrive and barley survive. The Bakers began to make positive changes in their lives to alter their poor living conditions. These decisions included applying for homeownership at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Unfortunately, the Bakers were denied from the program because their total income was too large. Yet they continued to press on in hopes of a better future. Then it happened. Edward Baker had a stroke and was unable to work. How could Zhelle provide for their family and find a stable and safe place to live? They decided to apply for homeownership with Habitat Kent again and were accepted. But the Baker's unstoppable determination would be needed throughout the build process and into homeownership. Discover the rest of the Baker's journey in the video above as we congratulate them as the 2014 Homeowners of the Year. 

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HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF KENT COUNTY

CONTACT US
616-774-2431
425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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