by John Nolan
The children’s faces were aglow, and their mothers were grateful. The families of Monica Harris and Danielle Richardson were at center stage as Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati and our affiliate, the Eastside Coalition of Churches, dedicated their new homes.
A crowd that included representatives of Habitat and the Eastside Coalition, member churches, clergy, the families, and their relatives gathered on Saturday, December 15, for a dedication ceremony at the build site. The houses are located on adjacent lots in Springfield Township (also known as West College Hill), a block off the region’s main street, North Bend Road.
Volunteers spent a busy final week in December building and roofing storage sheds, constructing wooden steps for side entry porches, and planting shrubs in the yards. Those activities had to wait until Duke Energy connected gas supply lines in the front yards and filled in the trenches, clearing the way for contractors to grade the lots, install concrete sidewalks, driveways and front steps, and complete the landscaping.
Volunteers from St. Barnabas and the other nine Eastside Coalition member churches worked from June until this fall to build the two, one-story homes and to provide lunches for the volunteer workers.
Hamilton County, the Eastside churches, and corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors of Habitat for Humanity provided funding for the houses. In addition, local and national companies donated labor and materials including appliances, stairways, insulation materials, and roof installation labor.
Monica Harris and Danielle Richardson told the audience at the dedication ceremony how grateful they and their children are to finally have homes of their own. They met Habitat requirements to each put in 250 “sweat equity” hours on the houses. They will buy the homes with the aid of no-interest loans provided by lenders that work with Habitat to support first-time home buyers.
Pastor Nancy Turner Jones of St. Barnabas gave the closing blessing for the homes.
Our thanks to all the St. Barnabas volunteers who pitched in this summer and fall to provide the energy and enthusiasm to build the houses. Without volunteers and financial supporters, Habitat’s mission to provide decent, affordable housing wouldn’t be possible.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!