Habitat home dedicated for mother, son

KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette Carrie and her son, David, left, receive the keys to their new home from Andrew Hooker, construction chairman and board member of Habitat for Humanity.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to Habitat for Humanity regulations, last names are not used for its partner families).

Dozens of people gathered in the new home of Carrie and her son, David, to celebrate the completion of the Greater Lycoming Habitat for Humanity’s latest project.

The house keys were handed over to Carrie during the dedication ceremony that was held on Wednesday at the house at 1607 Memorial Ave.

“I wish I had the words,” she said as she described the feeling of being in her new home. “It’s surreal, overwhelming, exciting and scary.”

Carrie, her family and 300 volunteers completed nearly 3,000 hours of work over the past year to build the 1,400-square-foot home, according to Arion Moser, Habitat program director. Money to fund the project came from local grants and fundraisers.

It is a two-story house with hardwood floors,  three bedrooms, a full bathroom, living area and kitchen.

The cupboards were stocked with donations from the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

Being the homeowner, Carrie had to complete 250 hours either working on the house or in the organization’s Habitat ReStore on West Fourth Street.

By helping construct the house, she was able to learn about construction and home maintenance.

Going from renting to having her own home is a positive change for Carrie and her 13-year old son, she said.

“As a single mother, it’s empowering (to become a homeowner),” Carrie said.

Seeing all of the people at the dedication ceremony, she said she felt humbled because there were so many people who supported her who did not know her.

David said he is excited to have his own room.

It is amazing to see the house fully constructed when a few months ago it was just a plot of dirt, he said.

The mother and son plan to move in before Christmas.

During the dedication, Carrie and David’s pastor, the Rev. John Phillips, of Crossroads Community Church in Jersey Shore, prayed for the home and the family.

“This is an answered prayer,” Phillips said.

A candle was lit and there was a responsive reading to dedicate the home.

Ben and Ruth Keller, who helped start Habitat locally in 1982, presented the Bible to the family.

“We hope this (Bible) becomes a part of your home,” Ruth Keller said.

Tina McDowell, executive director of Habitat, said the community coming together to help build the house is something to celebrate.

“We can’t do this without the help of our community,” she said.

Whether a person or business donated time, money or gave Habitat a discount, it all directly benefited Carrie and David.

“Carrie and David have earned (this house) and I hope they are happy here for many years,” she said.

The home is the first of two Habitat homes that will constructed in the neighborhood as part of the Brodart Neighborhood Improvement Program. The program is a collaboration with Habitat, Lycoming County, the city of Williamsport and STEP Inc.

By improving the current homes and adding new ones it will improve that neighborhood, McDowell said.