HUNTSVILLE - The cold winter air Sunday afternoon made many of the 20 people gathered at 41 West Street South in Huntsville rub their hands and stomp their feet.
The Martin and Prosser families are joined by residents and local dignitaries in cutting the ribbon to their new homes, located at 41 West Street South in Huntsville. The houses were built as part of the Habitat for Humanity Muskoka build program.
COURTESY OF GORDON E. RIDDLE
However, the cold fingers and frosted cheeks were soon warmed by the heartfelt words of families who had found themselves a home.
The occasion was a dedication ceremony for the 13th and 14th home builds by the Habitat for Humanity Muskoka, and Jason and Wendy Martin, their three children, expressed thanks along with Catherine Prosser and her children for the homes the community had given them.
“I believe that Habitat for Humanity sees a divine and unique opportunity for families that is often overlooked by society,” Wendy Martin stated. “By offering families the possibility with a hand up and an open door, Habitat sees the potential for families to propel forward into a bright future, full of prosperity and hopefulness. This extraordinary experience has created a shift for the next generation.”
“I would like to say thank you to an entire community who said that I believe in you,” said Prosser. “It means so much that everyone here stood behind me without knowing me. For that I will be forever grateful and my children as well. Thank you.”
The recent build of the two homes was dubbed The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Build in recognition of a gift of $75,000 from the Barrie–based Catholic group that assist charities through donation or volunteer work.
Linda Acton-Riddle, the president of Habitat for Humanity Muskoka board of directors, said lives have been changed for everyone involved in the project, including the volunteers, the sponsors, and the new homeowners.
“These homes are an example of how the community can come together and provide affordable, long-term solutions to the housing problem in Muskoka. It demonstrates how businesses and individuals, in-kind material donations and the extraordinary efforts of volunteers can help low-income families become homeowners,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity Muskoka was established as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity Canada in 2002.
Since its inception, the group had built 12 other homes across the region for families who might not have been able to afford them.
Through volunteer labour, efficient management, and donations of money and materials, Habitat homes are built and sold to partner families at no profit.
They are financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages, geared to the families’ financial circumstances.
In addition to the mortgage payments, each homeowner contributes 500 hours of unpaid labour into the building of their home and other homes.
Habitat for Humanity Muskoka has announced that plans are under way for a construction start of its 15th and 16th homes this year in Bracebridge, along with the potential for another home in the Parry Sound region.
The group also stated that is has properties to build future homes on in the communities of Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bala.