When we think of the holidays, we often think of gathering with family and friends in the comfort of our own homes to celebrate.
This year Keisha Smithers will be able to enjoy a family Christmas with her children in her own home thanks to Hanover Habitat for Humanity. This fall they partnered with Keisha to provide the gift of home ownership. Keisha’s new home was dedicated on November 18 just in time for the holidays!
This is the 38th home that Hanover Habitat has built in partnership with the community. Thanks to donations and the labor of more than 150 volunteers, the best gift Keisha and her children received this holiday season is celebrating their first Christmas together in their new home.
Keisha works for The Hanover Adult Center as coordinator for the Linking Lives Program, a day support program for adults with intellectual disabilities. While Keisha’s work is very rewarding, she is a single mother with two small children, and her salary is not sufficient to qualify her for a conventional home loan. Now with assistance from Hanover Habitat, her children have a safe, stable place to call home as they grow.
This is not the first home Keisha has helped to build with Hanover Habitat. As a young teen, Keisha lived with her mother in a house with no running water for over six years. Then at the age of 16, she volunteered with HfH to help build a home for her and her mother. She worked every Saturday, and to this day still remembers how to install windows. And she is still grateful for the difference a home made in their lives.
Today, Keisha’s children attend a daycare center right across the street from their new address. “They have a great view from the playground of our home and have gotten to see it being built from the ground up. They have also helped out by doing small chores on the worksite, “ said Keisha.
A home of their own is still a distant reality for many hard-working families in the Metro Richmond area. For these families, a home is much more than a place to bake cookies and wrap presents. It provides a sense of stability and a foundation from which to build the rest of their lives.
Hanover Habitat for Humanity is an interfaith nonprofit Christian organization, committed in partnership with qualified families and community volunteers to create and sell homes with no-profit mortgages. They seek to eradicate substandard housing in Hanover County by encouraging all stakeholders to make affordable housing a matter of action and conscience.
More than 40 congregations in Hanover County have participated in HfH’s mission to provide low income families with decent, affordable homes. It also has given congregations a chance to develop a strong, lasting partnership with Hanover Habitat, allowing church members to express faith through practical “hands on” service.