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St. Barnabas Volunteers Help to Make Family’s Home Ownership a Reality

by John Nolan

Imagine having a family and dreaming of home ownership, but worrying that the prospect of owning a house is a stiff challenge. Then, enter Habitat for Humanity and its deep pool of volunteers, plus the companies which generously donate building materials and expertise.

Volunteers from St. Barnabas, working with Habitat and sister churches, have helped to make home ownership possible for a family with four children. Parishioners from St. Barnabas and others from the Eastside Coalition of Churches helped to build a house and storage shed for the family in Bond Hill.

The most recent St. Barnabas work day was on Saturday, May 25. We touched-up painting, installed fixtures, and planted shrubs at the one-story house. Habitat plans to dedicate the home on June 15, and the family will close on the house and take ownership soon after.

The house is located along a tree-lined street near the Norwood Lateral, approximately a mile from Habitat’s Cincinnati headquarters. It reflects the effort not only of Habitat and Eastside Coalition volunteers, but also of the family, who have repeatedly shown up to work on the house during the past several months. The mother in the family frequently reported to the build site directly from her overnight shift of work at a hospital.

Habitat requires that all adults in the family of a prospective homeowner each work at least 250 “sweat equity” hours on their houses. That effort allows the homebuyer to work off their down payment on a mortgage loan and to receive a no-interest mortgage to buy the house.

Progress on the future home of the family has been swift since construction began early in 2019. The last of the house’s utilities are being connected, the final concrete work on the driveway is to be completed, and some other finishing touches are being applied as we move into June.

It is just the latest example of how enthusiastic and energetic volunteers can help make home ownership possible for families who might not otherwise be able to buy a house and raise children there. This makes a memorable and lifelong difference for these families as they try to provide a stable home and a better quality of life for their children.

Habitat for Humanity plans to dedicate the house at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, at the Carolina Avenue site in Cincinnati. The half-hour dedication ceremony is open to all visitors, who are then free to tour the house.

Thank you for your support of Habitat for Humanity and our neighbors in the community!

Please come to our annual benefit concert for Habitat. Michael Chertock, St. Barnabas Director of Music, will lead the concert at St. Barnabas at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 7.


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