Elyse Johnson | Author
Allie Turck | Editor
A celebration of hope and happiness. This is a Home Dedication, beyond the passing of the keys and the signing of papers. Our Habitat Homes represent the coming together of our community to give others a hand-up. Our homeowners work hard with us to help create their safe and affordable home. This past month, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Garland (HFHGG) was proud to have hosted a Home Dedication ceremony for our homeowners, Melesse and Habtam!
Our Habitat homeowners, Melesse and Habtam, came to the United States from Ethiopia both to join their family in the states as well as escape political turmoil in their country. Melesse came to the States first to secure housing and employment. Later, Habtam and their 4 children joined him, and they both now work long hours to support themselves while renting an apartment in a low-income area of Garland. Melesse says that it is not a safe area, or a good environment to raise their kids in. They heard about Habitat from some of their friends and decided it was time to apply. They had been looking to buy a home since they arrived, but couldn’t find anything affordable that would fit a family their size. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Garland has been able to build their hope for their children and themselves as they move forward living in a safe neighborhood with space for their kids to be kids!
One of the most difficult things is finding an affordable home. Now thanks God, God is great, thank you so much for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Garland. After a long-time dream we become homeowners!
Building Their Habitat Home
This Habitat Home is part of our School Build partnership. Students and teachers from Naaman Forest High School built this house on the school’s property from the ground up. This resulted in a great learning experience for students on how to frame and wire a house. HFHGG then moved the house from Naaman Forest to its permanent neighborhood location. From there, our construction crew worked with our volunteers and contracted teams to put up insulation, drywall and sheetrock, install flooring, cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, blinds, and everything in between to finish the house. There were many hands that made Melesse and Habtam’s house a reality, including their own.
Along with their friends and family, Melesse and Habtam spent over 60 hours working on their house as part of their sweat equity. Sweat equity is “contribution to a project or enterprise in the form of effort and toil. Sweat equity is the ownership interest, or increase in value, that is created as a direct result of hard work by the owner(s). It is the preferred mode of building equity for cash-strapped entrepreneurs in their start-up ventures, since they may be unable to contribute much financial capital to their enterprise,” according to Investopedia. Sweat equity is Habitat’s most valuable tool in building the partnership among potential homebuyers, their families, affiliate staff members and volunteers. Through sweat equity, the family has an opportunity to invest physically and emotionally in the mission of Habitat.
Changing Their Lives
During the Home Dedication Ceremony, we congratulate our homeowners, Melesse and Habtam, on all the hard work they completed in getting their home. They worked over 450 hours of sweat equity in both the ReStore and on their home. Additionally, they completed 16 hours of homeowner preparedness education. The ceremony commends them on their work through the symbolic presentation of a Bible, bread, wine, flowers, and the keys to their new home! Each item is presented by someone who helped complete their house.
“This is the Word of God. May He ever be present in your home and may His Word nourish your souls.”
“This bread represents the staff of life. May you lack for nothing in your new home.”
“This represents the joy of companionship – may your home be filled with friends, family, and festivity.”
“These flowers represent beauty and renewal. May you face each day aware of the beauty all around us: for beauty enriches our souls.”
“This tool box is a start for you so that you may keep your house in good repair.”
“Here are the keys to your home. May the strength of these walls make you safe; keeping peace within and troubles without.”
We are proud to present this Habitat Strong house to Melesse and Habtam. They have worked hard to achieve homeownership in the United States. A Habitat Home is more than just building, it is a home built by the community and supported by hope for the future.
You changed our life to better quality & gave us more confidence. It’s a good lesson for us to help others too! Thank you so much!!! God bless you all!!!