During the week of June 4 to 8, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna and Richmond American Homes built two new homes in Aberdeen from the ground up as part of Habitat for Humanity's Home Builders Blitz 2012. This nationwide project built, renovated and repaired 250 homes simultaneously around the country during a week-long "blitz build."
Contractors, subcontractors and volunteers worked around the clock throughout the week to complete construction of a duplex tailored to the needs of two families. Both families are first-time homeowners and received the keys to their new home in a dedication ceremony at 536 Baltimore St. on Friday, June 8.
The two new homes were presented to area residents Beverly Cotton and to the Jegnu family, which includes Girma Jegnu, his wife and their two children. Cotton's job transferred her to Maryland in March 2007 and she quickly found herself unable to obtain housing and sleeping in her car. In August 2007, Cotton was welcomed into the Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United (FCCAU), and with their support has since completed her degree in graphic design and is working three part-time jobs. The Jegnus came to the United States from Ethiopia seeking economic freedom and bright futures for themselves and their children, but instead faced cramped, rundown and unhealthy conditions in their original apartment. In February, the Jegnu family was approved for the Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna housing program, and they are on their way to living in a safe and healthy home.
"My kids will finally live in a clean house and a clean environment. I am excited to have a nice home of my own," Girma Jegnu said. "Great thank you, great thank you to everybody."
"I have always considered myself to be a strong person. I know each trial I have faced makes me even stronger. I am here as an example to those who are still facing homelessness as someone who did make it out. I am moving forward naturally and spiritually, and determined not to go back," Cotton said.
The homes were built through a generous donation and financial support from Richmond American Homes and trade partners, including Advanced Flooring, Allied Systems, American Turf, Archer Exteriors, Aristokraft, Ayd Transport, Bay Country Rentals, Bryant Group, Builders First Source, CA Grimmel Inc., Capital Drywall, Cleansweep, Colonial Sash and Door, D&S Drywall, Design Tops, DeVere Insulation, Eagle Cleaning Services Inc., Earthscape Excavating, Efficient Home LLC, General Electric, Glenmar, HPC, JSM Installation, JW & Sons, Lowe's, Melco Paint & Drywall, Metcalfe Heat & Air, Miles Electric, Precision Drywall, Pro Build, Progress Lighting, Radon Worx, Sanborn Concrete, Storm Masters, Village Concrete, Vulcan Materials Company and Wilmot Modular Structures.
"Working with Habitat for Humanity is very special to me. This is the fourth Blitz Build I've been involved in because I love being around great people that are tirelessly working together to achieve the impossible. I am honored to work with such a great group of trade partners, Habitat employees and future homeowners," Brian McManus, vice president of construction for Richmond American Homes, said.
For more information on the Home Builders Blitz, including information for building industry contractors, partners and suppliers interested in helping with future builds, please contact Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, firstname.lastname@example.org. For updates follow Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna on Facebook or visit http://www.habitatsusq.org.