‘Hometown Build’ provides forever home for the Short family of Winchester

Published 4:46 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

Winchester native Miranda Short is a business owner and a mother, and on Saturday, she added a new title: homeowner.

Short and her son, Drake, became the sixth family to receive a home on Lincoln Street built by Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties.

After receiving the keys to her home near the end of the dedication ceremony from Winchester City Manager Mike Flynn, Short touched on the subject of community.

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“I want to start this off by saying I approve what happens when we have community,” said Short. “My community has never failed me.”

Short’s story and new home is a testament to the power of community.

The Short home was what Habitat calls a “Hometown Build.”

“The way that God often supports us and makes things happen for us here is by other people joining in, and he uses his people to come together to build homes, community and hope,” said Amanda Dube, the organization’s executive director.

Several entities collaborated to sponsor the project, including the city of Winchester, Clark Regional Medical Center, Central and Community Trust banks, First Christian and Salem Presbyterian churches and many more.

“This vision for this build was different from having a whole home sponsor like we’ve had in the past,” Dube said. “This home was meant to be the whole town coming together to provide a home for a local family, and Winchester did not disappoint.”

Perhaps a sense of community is what Short sought after graduating from high school. After spending several years in Lousiville and southern Indiana, Short moved back to Winchester while pregnant with her son.

Needing assistance, Short went to Clark County Community Services and met Mary Jo Hatchett, who would become a mentor to Short.

“Miranda came to me about five years ago, Drake was just an infant, and she was really struggling,” Hatchett said. “She was in need of housing and she did not have a lot of support. She was at a low point.”

During the next two years, Hatchett helped Short with her housing needs. During this time, Short thrived.

“I watched her grow so much. She is my start client…She continued to strive to work and do better,” Hatchett said.

Short found work as a cleaner and eventually opened her own service that specializes in commercial and residential cleaning.

“I have to point out that it is amazing that she did that on her own. She had no help or support. That is a huge feat within itself.”

In turn, Short had high praise for Hatchett.

“Mary Jo saw me at my lowest,” she said.” She has seen me grow every day. It only took one advocate from my community to listen and not to judge and offer a helping hand. She is the perfect person for the job…She has been an awesome mentor and has always reminded me that my hard work has gotten me here.”

The Short home dedication also marked the end of the first phase of Lincoln Street’s revitalization, which has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the city and Habitat.

Flynn offered his thoughts on the process.

“I’ve seen through the four homes we have been able to build and the progress we have been able to make here the difference that it makes in each of the family’s lives that now reside in this area. These are things that I think we can be proud of as a community,” Flynn said.

The city and Habitat plan to construct more homes on the other side of Lincoln Street in the future, which is another example of the good that comes about when a community works together.