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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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    Every month Donaldo Hernandez leads members of his church on a journey that could change the trajectory of their lives. The church members are seeking immigration consulates over 150 miles away in Chicago and Detroit. Donaldo helps provide his congregation with the knowledge and resources to become United States citizens.

     “There’s a lot of fear in the immigration process,” said Hernandez, a Habitat Kent homeowner who works at Church of the Restoration in Wyoming, MI. “There are lots of people in Michigan who are good people and indigenous people that are suffering.”

     Hernandez and his family applied for the Habitat Kent homeownership program in 2011 after having his own personal immigration struggles.

     “I was deported in 2007 and I was in Honduras for three and a half years working through this process.”

     While Hernandez was thousands of miles from his family, he got a first-hand experience of Habitat’s impact globally.

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     Home connects us all. It is a place we feel peace and community. Renewal Real Estate reflects this truth to connect the homes of their clients to the homes of Habitat families. 

     Located in Caledonia, MI Renewal Real Estate “invests in the future of Michigan by contributing 10% of all gross profits to organizations making a difference in the lives of people, neighborhoods, and cities throughout the State.”

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     After an extensive national search, the Habitat for Humanity of Kent County board of directors has appointed BriAnne McKee as executive director.

     McKee brings more than a decade of experience to her new leadership role, most recently serving as the director of volunteer services before stepping into the position as interim director. She joined Habitat Kent as a mortgage application specialist in the homeowner services department in 2012.

     More than 100 individuals applied for the position during the two-month long search to find a successor for Mary Buikema, who left earlier this year.

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     The new year brings much excitement for the Martin family as they look forward to a new chapter in their Habitat home. Luke, Megan, Annalise (3 years) and Asaph (6 months) are especially ready for stability, having moved five times in their six years of marriage. 

     The past couple of years Luke and Megan have been paying rent for a crowded, moldy, 2-bedroom apartment in Wyoming. Lack of homebuying education, the perception of debt, and affordability prevented the Martin’s from homeownership. The Martin’s two-year partnership with Habitat started with a simple trip to the ReStore. Luke walked in looking for a door knob for their current apartment and left with a pamphlet of information on starting a story of partnership.

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     Shaun, Yvette, and their children Nyasia, (16) Shaun Jr., (13) and Tayshaun, (10) are thrilled to be moving into their Habitat home on Grand Rapids’ west side. The home build was sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Yvette discovered Habitat Kent’s program through one of her friends, an 11-year Habitat homeowner. they’re excited to leave the cramped rented house they have been living in.

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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503