From ashes of devastation to the stability of a solid home, four families and thousands of volunteers gathered in the Basilica of St. Adalbert to celebrate the Catholic United Build. A few short years ago all that laid across the street the ruins of a burnt apartment complex. Now stands a four-unit townhome complex that will provide strength and stability for generations to come.
“Hard work, dedication, and partnering with [Habitat], it’s the perfect combination,” said homebuyer Cheryl.
She has four children Jesse, Meliah, Javier, and Jalissa. Cheryl’s previous living conditions were expensive and poor quality—she had to heat up water on the stove in order to give her kids a bath. “It was very emotionally stressing.”
During the program, Cheryl learned how to use her personal experience to express to others the importance of affordable homeownership.
Homebuyer Jasmine was ready to roll up her sleeves and build a new home for her two boys, Keiyon and Khalshawn. But she quickly appreciated the program resources and education classes to help prepare her for homeownership.
“Owning a home and living in it will change my mindset versus renting,” said Jasmine. Though there were moments of stress while earning sweat equity hours, Jasmine said watching the home being built motivated her to press onward.
“I was surprised how much support people give you and how many people come out to help you build your home,” said homebuyer Markia. She is excited for her daughter, Aubreigh, to have her own room, a yard to play in and to be able to safely bike up and down the street.
“I feel like I’m more patient now,” Markia said. “You have to put in the time, the effort, and the hours to have something that you want in the end…it’s going to pay off.”
Homebuyers Anne and Lionel heard about the program from Lionel’s brothers who are also Habitat Kent homeowners. The family grew close during the program through balancing jobs, school, sweat equity, and adding baby Jael to their growing family (Christian, Yann, and Loan).
“[We learned] flexibility, efficiency, reliability,” Anne said.
Lionel earned sweat equity hours on the construction site alongside volunteers during the hot summer months. “I saw how [volunteers] were engaged and working very hard to make this happen and I’m very grateful for that.”
Lionel and Anne said that owning a home and paying an affordable mortgage helps build equity in something that belongs to you.
“It will bring stability to the family,” Lionel said.
After moving in, each family will be a part of an independent condo association that will make decisions for the future of their community.
“I’m looking forward to that growth and partnership within our [group],” Jasmine said.
“During the project, we collaborated a lot and I think we will be able to live together and support each other,” Lionel said. “And we all have kids so we know how kids are.”
Because of you, 11 children and their parents have the hope of a brighter future. Thank you for using your gifts, talents, time, and voice to make this special day possible.