It takes a city to raise two homes
Habitat for Humanity and Spryfield community kick off house construction for two single moms and their kids
When single mother Alyson Young was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than four years ago and had to leave her job, she never dreamed she’d be able to afford a home for herself and her three kids.
Trying to find affordable housing while relying on a pension, disability and a student loan to support three children was stressful, she said.
Then she got a break: Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia selected both Young and another single mother of three — Christa Hamilton — for new homes. On Thursday, the women were on hand for the official groundbreaking of their houses, being built side by side on Drysdale Road in Spryfield.
“I never thought I’d be so excited for a mortgage,” said Young. “Even outside of that, the sweat equity with volunteering and being at the Restore in Dartmouth, I’ve met so many incredible people and had so much fun.”
Families selected for Habitat for Humanity homes are chosen on the basis of need, ability to repay a no-down-payment, no-interest mortgage, and commitment to volunteer 500 hours of sweat equity toward their home and community.
“I’d never be able to afford or come up with a down payment,” Two families celebrated the official groundbreaking of their Habitat for Humanity homes Thursday. Christa Hamilton, left, and her children Teyonicka, Trystin and James will be neighbours with Alyson Young and her three children Chloe, Everett and Lily, not pictured. Christa Hamilton, single mom getting a Habitat for Humanity home
“IT TOOK UNTIL TODAY, TO DIG A LITTLE BIT OF DIRT, FOR IT TO SINK IN. IT’S JUST VERY EXCITING.”
said Hamilton. “So the fact we can do the (volunteer) hours instead of the down payment, that’s a really big help.”
Thursday’s official groundbreaking ceremony was bittersweet as this particular Habitat for Humanity build is being dedicated to the memory of Stuart Joliffe. Joliffe was a big supporter of the Nova Scotia branch of the international non-profit organization. He died in April.
For several years, Joliffe, former general manager for Delta Barrington and Delta Hotel Halifax, organized and chaired a fundraising event called Raise A Little Hellp. That event raised more than $650,000 for Habitat
for Humanity Nova Scotia.
Habitat for Humanity CEO Stepehen Doane told the crowd Joliffe’s legacy would live on for all the families who were able to realize their dream of owning a home due to his efforts. Hamilton said it was “surreal” to learn she and her three children had been selected for a Habitat for Humanity home.
“It took until today, to dig a little bit of dirt, for it to sink in. It’s just very exciting. We’re most looking forward to having two bathrooms,” she laughed.