Posted Saturday, June 29, 2019 9:25 pm
By COLBY DENTON
Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland handed over the house keys Thursday to two grateful families.
The new homeowners included Dale Ware, as well as Erica Nelson and her two teenage daughters, Nataziona and Tatyana.
Ware was injured in a car accident in 1990 that led to her being disabled and unable to work. She was living with her sister when she heard of Habitat, and decided to apply for a home. Her sister passed away shortly after she submitted her application.
Nelson is the single mom of Nataziona and Tatyana. Prior to getting their Habitat home, they were living in an overcrowded apartment that’s been previously flooded and in need of constant repair.
The homes were the Legacy and Women’s Builds, each taking 12 weeks to complete.
“We are here to hand them the keys to the home, to pray over them and to celebrate with them for accomplishing so much as first-time homeowners,” stated Janice Wilson, title sponsor with the George R. Johnson Family Foundation.
The two presenting sponsors for the evening included the George R. Johnson Family Foundation and Easy Auto, who sponsored Ware’s and Nelson’s homes, respectively.
Ware’s home was the Legacy build, while the Nelsons’ home was the Women’s Build.
Tammy Johnson, Habitat executive director, expressed her overwhelming excitement for the families.
“Dale and Erica have worked so hard to earn their new homes, and we’re proud to have come alongside them each step of the way,” Johnson said.
The homes mark the 136th and 137th homes completed by Habitat of Cleveland. Groundbreakings have already been held for the other two homes being built this year, which should be completed in September.
Wilson praised Habitat for its meticulous planning, experienced team and various steps required for homeowners to earn their homes.
“They have to complete sweat equity, work in the Restore and various other things to truly earn their home. It’s just a great program that helps a lot of people,” Wilson said.
True to their word, both Ware and the Nelson worked in the Restore, helped at Habitat events, attended classes and contributed sweat equity work hours on their homes.
Both Ware and the Nelsons were elated to be receiving their homes, if a bit anxious to finally see all their hard work come to fruition.
Nelson said her new home will brighten her family’s future, and is a testament to the power of God in their lives.
“I’d recommend everyone to look into Habitat. It’s a phenomenal organization to get involved with, and you’ll know that you’re genuinely helping people through your work with it,” Nelson said.
Ware said she was nervous, but in a good way, as she was excited to finally move into her Habitat home.
She added that having her home boosts her self-esteem, and since it was built with love, she looks forward to sharing this love with her new neighbors by telling them about Christ.
“Learn about the organization. Get your LED for Habitat, which stands for Learning about it, Educating yourself about it and then Donating to it,” Ware said.
Other sponsors for the Legacy Build include: Alba Foundation, Bank of Cleveland, Broad Street Memorial Designations, Broad Street United Methodist Church, Don Rollens Legacy Fund, David and Ellen Smith, Harry S. Truman Club and Youth Leadership Cleveland.
Other sponsors for the Women’s Build include Andy Anderson, Bradley Sunrise Rotary, Beverly Johnson, Southern Heritage Bank and more than 20 build teams.
“Our community never ceases to show support by helping our neighborhoods get better and stronger. Our sponsors and volunteers have once again gone above and beyond to demonstrate Christian love!” Johnson exclaimed.
Anyone interested in volunteering at Habitat can contact its staff at 423-473-4610. Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland is located at 300 Grove Avenue.