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

StarMetro Halifax - - COVER STORY - YVETTE D’EN­TREMONT

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.