Breaking ground: Berry family takes first step toward new home

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Berry family of Winchester took their first step physical step toward owning a new home last week.

The family broke ground last Tuesday evening on a Habitat for Humanity house that will be part of the ongoing Lincoln Street redevelopment project run by Habitat and the city of Winchester.

The Berry home is the result of a partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties and RE/MAX Creative Realty, a national real estate firm with several offices across the state of Kentucky.

RE/MAX is sponsoring the entire build in an initiative it calls “RiseUp” that the firm hopes will help fight local home insecurity.

“This day has been over a year in the making,” Habitat Fund Development Coordinator Amanda Dube’ said. “It has been a fun journey so far … I’m just very grateful for you all and the part that each of you are playing in this home.”

For Brittany Berry and her five children aged 9-17: Aaliyah, Emmanuel, Jaylen, Journee and Kenyon, the chance to become homeowners is a dream come true.

“I felt like it was a really good opportunity for me and my family, and for there to be a good foundation for my kids to grow up in,” Berry said about going through the Habitat process which includes interviews, financial literacy classes and volunteer hours at other build sites.

Of course, the family is excited to move in.

“We get to own our own home and do not have to go through anybody,” Berry said. She has learned a lot during the process, “I’ve learned to be able to work together. It has been a wonderful opportunity and everybody has been so nice.”

Janice Mueller, the broker of the local RE/MAX agencies, shared some thoughts on the undertaking the Berry family is embarking on.

“Owning a home is a felling of accomplishment,” she said. “Not every person is able to own a home. Only 61 percent of Americans own a home. They are committing to 350 sweat hours of labor toward other Habitat homes and in the community, and they are going to take on a mortgage. They are working hard to have this home ownership.”

Helping the Berry family is part of what Re/Max hopes to do for all its clients.

“It’s what we do for a living is help people achieve their American dream and it has always been a goal of mine to build a house for Habitat,” Mueller said.