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New home under way – with a helping hand from Habitat

Habitat-Matthews-ground-breakingConnie Matthews and children Cole and Hannah are ready to roll up their sleeves to create a home together – with a helping hand from their new friends.

The family was on hand to see the first shovels turn the sod at 7 York St., Picton – the site of their new Habitat for Humanity home.

Connie Matthews and children Cole and Hannah are ready to roll up their sleeves to create a home together

Connie Matthews and children Cole and Hannah are ready to roll up their sleeves to create a home together

“There is no more deserving family than this one,” said Len Kennedy, Habitat executive director, at the announcement the Matthews family was chosen to be the 16th family to be awarded a build.
“They need this fresh start in life to move forward. We are excited for the three of them with this opportunity for  new beginnings and a helping hand from Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings.”

Matthews is a full-time cook at Kentwood Nursing home in Picton. Her husband passed away two years ago.

“Our lives were irreversiby changed and the dream of owning a home seemed unattainable,” she said. “The
application process has its ups and downs and I cried buckets of tears, believe me. But the day I opened the door and the lady was standing there with balloons and smiles telling us that we were going to own a home, I couldn’t stop  crying, shaking, laughing.”

The family will contribute 500 hours of sweat equity in the construction of the home, expected to be complete by summer’s end.

“I’ve heard people say that a house is just bricks and wood, but to me it’s not just a house, but a home, and to me that is so much more,” she said. “This home to me is my dream – being built with generosity, caring, community pride, compassion and most of us, love.”

At the opening celebration Friday, she thanked all involved. “To the many individuals who will donate or assist with this build – family, friends, and to the volunteers I don’t even know yet, but will by the end of this experience, I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you.”

This is Habitat’s third build and fourth home in Picton since 2005. The lot was donated by the County.

Habitat “gives a hand up” to families selected from applicants based on their ability to commit to 500 hours of sweat equity and make mortgage payments geared to family income. Habitat mortgages require no down payment and are interest free.

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