HARRISON – The dream of homeownership is one of the most rudimentary aspects of American life, yet far fewer achieve that goal than don’t. Driven to help people achieve that dream is the driving force behind Habitat for Humanity.
The local Clare County Habitat for Humanity has assisted many people along the road to sound financial footing, discounted materials, as well as appropriate contractors to complete the job at hand. Sometimes it is for home repairs, and sometimes it is enabling someone to procure a decent and affordable home in a supportive neighborhood – more than 25 in Clare County since 1991. Specifically, this is Habitat’s Mission Statement: “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, community and hope.”
Whatever the project, the homeowner is required to contribute some “sweat equity” wherein their own physical labors help them to feel invested in their new home, which in turn helps to grow pride of ownership.
“The homeowners came in here and they put in over 200 hours,” said Carey Harris, executive director of Clare County Habitat for Humanity. “They did everything, I mean they’d start the floor, and the floor’s done. Everything, they just did wonderful.”
The latter is what happened last week for Lindsey Campbell, a 19-year-old nursing student who is currently a certified nursing assistant who plans to continue pursuit of a registered nursing degree. Yeah – 19 and a homeowner.
Age truly has not been an obstacle for Campbell, and her significant other, Remi, who is a firefighter and welder. They have worked very hard to help in the complete refurbishing of a small cottage with a view of Budd Lake. These two hard-working examples of appreciative young adulthood have embraced the opportunity before them, and they are walking confidently into a future replete with a home many work toward for decades, and which some never manage to acquire.
The Habitat dedication of this special small three-bedroom house was held Oct. 5 with Habitat board members onsite to present gifts including a Learning Bible and a Lennox dish blessing the house, words of encouragement, and of course, watch Campbell cut the congratulatory cake inscribed with “Welcome Home.”
Now, it’s up to the homeowner to maintain and nurture this special home, something Campbell has already embraced by decorating the interior with color and love, and the exterior with fun, quirky Halloween decorations (everywhere) to mark the home’s first holiday.
The house is also home to one dog and two cats: a Texas heeler, a 20-pound orange and white cat named Toro, and a small gray cat named Rico. So, there it is, a brand new home for a family of five.
The Habitat board and homeowner family alike were quick to convey their satisfaction with the success of this project. Now it’s onward to the next project, the group’s first home-build. That story will be unfolding relatively soon. Stay tuned.