Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna holds dedication ceremony for “Habi-Tech” home at 420 Ohio Street, Havre de Grace

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In addition to paying an affordable mortgage, Habitat homebuyers receive financial education, and invest hundreds of hours (called “sweat equity”) building their own home or the home of another Habitat family. “Amanda works throughout the night at her full-time job to provide for her three beautiful boys,” said Heather Gibson, Homeownership Program Manager, during her remarks. “She gets off just in time in the morning to get them ready for school and their day, then would forgo sleep to complete her sweat equity hours and work on her future home… “All of your hard work has put you in the finish line of achieving your goal. Your boys will be so very proud of you…thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey, thank you for allowing us to witness your growth, and thank you for becoming a part of our Habitat family.”

Habitat house is tenth one built by the Harford Technical High School students

Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna held a dedication ceremony in Havre de Grace for the Habitat home built by the students of the Harford Technical High School, and completed by Habitat volunteers. The future homeowner is Amanda Clark, a single mother of three boys (ages 7, 4 and 3). It is the tenth “Habi-Tech” home built by the school in its 20-year partnership with Habitat Susquehanna.

“This is the 10th ‘Habi-Tech’ home and the program’s 20th anniversary, so we are celebrating a lot of things today,” said Habitat Susquehanna’s Executive Director, Yvonne Golczewski. “Today is about partnerships: Harford Tech’s leadership, administration, faculty, and students; the Harford County Government; the City of Havre de Grace; generous sponsors; kind volunteers; and, Habitat board members, committee members, and staff.  But most importantly, this ceremony is a celebration of Amanda’s partnership with us and her hard work and determination as she realizes the dream of homeownership.”

Golczewski presented Principal Jim Reynolds and Michael Svezzese, Harford Tech’s CTE Trades and Industry Instructor, with two framed photo collages of some of the historical pictures representing the school’s role in the “Habi-Tech” program. Svezzese has been involved with the “Habi-Tech” program since the beginning.

David Burja, Habitat Susquehanna’s Director of Construction, acknowledged the hard work of Habitat Susquehanna’s construction team. Michele Louderback, Community Engagement Manager, recognized all of the volunteer groups and individuals, especially the 20-25 “core volunteers” (so named because they work on Habitat homes year-round) who completed most of the volunteer hours at this home.

Pastor Jenny Krichton of Mountain Christian Church gave the opening prayer and house blessing.

Jamie Costello of WMAR-2 News was a special guest speaker, as he had also attended, and had taken part in, the first “Habi-Tech” house dedication ceremony held in 2005.

During the ceremony, Golczewski recognized the following house sponsors:

Major Sponsors: Bank of America; Battelle; BGE; Harford County Government; Maryland Affordable Housing Trust; Modular Genius; Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (Community Legacy); The Morris A and Clarisse B Mechanic Foundation, Inc.; and, ODEC.

Other Valued Sponsors & Partners: APGFCU; Boeing; Decisive Data Systems; The Dresher Foundation; Erie Insurance; Fulton Forward Foundation; Greater Bel Air Community Foundation; Gutter Guys; Martin Marietta; Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund; The Nora Roberts Foundation; and, Whiting-Turner.

Dedication ceremonies celebrate the completion of the homeownership process with the Habitat homebuyer, volunteers, donors, sponsors, board members, Habitat staff and community members. They offer the public an opportunity to tour the home, and are held before Habitat homebuyers to go settlement.

The ceremony ended with the presentation of the house key by Jim Diel, Site Construction Supervisor, and the traditional ribbon-cutting at the front door.

Currently, only four percent of Habitat Susquehanna’s building materials are donated. The remaining 96 percent are purchased through financial donations, necessary to keep Habitat’s program going. By holding fundraisers and having volunteers build these homes, Habitat Susquehanna helps keep costs low and creates an opportunity for someone who couldn’t afford a home the traditional way. Volunteer and financial support helps more families achieve their dream of owning their own home. 

“Come out to a build site; you will see love in action,” Louderback said to the attendees. “Or, better yet, volunteer and you will feel that love in action.”

About Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Inc.

Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Inc. is an ecumenical Christian housing organization devoted to building, renovating and repairing houses in partnership with the community in Cecil and Harford counties. Since its inception in 1993, Habitat Susquehanna has served over 700 families through its Homeownership, Repair and Financial Literacy programs.  For more information, call 410-638-4434 (Harford County) or 410-398-3399 (Cecil County), or visit www.habitatsusq.org.

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