Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 29th home dedication this week, handing Stephanie Banks the keys to her new house.
“You don’t know how much this means to me,” said Banks, tearfully, during a dedication ceremony for her new house on North Smith Street on Saturday. “I am truly blessed.”
Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based international organization that seeks to help in building and renovating houses for families that qualify based on income and need criteria. Habitat’s ultimate goal is to completely eliminate poverty housing and homelessness.
Habitat was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda. Since that time, there have been 1,500 affiliates pop up around the world and 800,000 homes had been built as of 2014.
Each house, according to Habitat officials, helps build the next, meaning clients of Habitat are helping pay it forward to another family. The houses are built with contributed materials by volunteer labor.
The completed houses are sold and financed over 20 to 30 years and are interest free. The monthly house payment is used to finance the construction of more houses. Meanwhile, a second note covers the value of the contributed labor and is forgiven at a percentage each year the family lives in the house.
“I want to thank God for opening the doors for me and my family,” said Banks, joined by her sons Samuel and Stephen at the dedication.