Our View: Habitat home projects epitome of community

Published 7:59 am Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mother Teresa once said, “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in that action.”

On Saturday, love put into action was celebrated with the dedication of a new home for a local family.

Angela Anthony happily accepted the keys to her new home at 54 Hughes Ave., which she will share with her children, Amaya and Sebastian.

The home was built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties and a dozen local churches.

The Apostles Build involved volunteers from nine churches and donations from three others. The land for the home was donated by the local Knights of Columbus organization.

Ground was broken for the new home in September, and less than six months later, the family can now move in.

Anthony’s home is the 15th dedicated in Clark County since Habitat for Humanity was established here in the early 1990s.

Habitat for Humanity has been a catalyst for change for four local families in the past two years.

In January 2015, Habitat dedicated the first home in Clark County since 2011 on Cook Avenue for a single mother of three. By August 2015, a home was dedicated on Walnut Street for Herman and Dononetta Haggins, and in March 2016, Sonia Dudley was welcomed to her new home on Pearl Street.

Homeowners go through a detailed process to be approved for a Habitat home, and each has their story about their journey towards homeownership. Some are single parents, some are lifetime renters who needed support to own a home, and others are living in unsafe or unfit homes.

The path to homeownership isn’t necessarily easy through Habitat. In addition to homeowner education classes, homeowners are required to put in 350 hours of labor, known as “sweat equity,” before getting the keys to their home. Homeowners then pay a 0-percent interest mortgage, with payments based on income.

The program not only provides a new home, but offers homeowners the skills and tools they need to be better stewards of their money and their assets.

The homeowners aren’t the only ones to benefit from the projects.

The community rallies behind the projects, as witnessed in the recent Apostles Build, and volunteers say seeing a homeowner receive their keys is equally rewarding.

Likewise, neighborhoods are improved by having renovated or totally new homes built.

If Mother Teresa was right in saying love begins at home, then the Habitat projects are the epitome of what can happen when communities work together to actively “love on” their neighbors a little bit.

It’s proof that love in action can truly bring about life-altering change in the best way.