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Habitat's 30th Partner Family welcomed by Warsaw community
June 30, 2017
On June 27, 2017 Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region (HFHPKR) presented the Clark-Bandi family with keys to their new home at 887 Peterborough Street at a Home Dedication Ceremony in the village of Warsaw. The completed home marks Habitat’s first project in Douro-Dummer Township. Community volunteers, partners and dignitaries were in attendance to celebrate the 30th family that Habitat has helped into homeownership.
The journey to homeownership has been a long one for new homeowners, Josh and Natasha who met over a decade ago while using services of the YES Shelter for Youth and Families. After moving from place to place and living in apartments, the couple knew temporary housing was not enough for their growing family. Josh heard about Habitat for Humanity by word of mouth while seeking opportunities for suitable, affordable housing. Knowing they could not afford a traditional mortgage, Josh and Natasha applied to Habitat’s Homeownership Program and were hopeful they would get the help they needed to provide their daughters, Autumn (10) and Jasmine (5) with a stable place to live.
“Purchasing our home from Habitat will change everything,” says Josh. “We will finally have a stable place to live that our children can grow up feeling safe. As parents, we can focus on building a better future for our family.”
The Clark-Bandi family contributed 500 hours of “sweat equity” working on the construction of their home, assisting at Habitat events and helping at the ReStore on a regular basis. Like all partner families, Josh and Natasha also attended financial management workshops and home maintenance seminars offered by Habitat. The family will make monthly payments on a geared to income, no-interest mortgage, which in turn will go toward building more Habitat homes.
As part of Habitat’s Youth Program (HYP), Youth Build Days on the Warsaw site served as a valuable opportunity for volunteers ages 16 to 25 to actively participate in the experience of helping to build the Clark-Bandi family’s home. Youth from the YES Shelter and its Carriage House high school spent time on-site working alongside Josh and Natasha- an experience that was especially inspiring for youth currently using shelter services to see that homeownership is within their reach. Volunteers from Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations were also engaged in the home building process, providing youth with knowledge and tools to become part of the solution in building a stronger community.
“We are thrilled to be completing another home in Peterborough County! None of this would have been possible without the numerous dedicated volunteers, donors and the generous support of Douro-Dummer Township. Today is really about community members welcoming a new family into their neighborhood. Homeownership, once only a distant dream, is now a reality for Josh, Natasha and their girls.” says Sarah Burke, CEO of HFHPKR.
Major partners who contributed significant funds and/or material donations toward the completion of the home include: Home Building Partner- Alf Curtis Home Improvements, Habitat Youth Program Premier Partner- Rotary Club of Peterborough, the Kelly-Phillips Family Fund- a donor advised fund held within the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Home Depot Canada Foundation, RBC Foundation and Genworth Canada.
Numerous local businesses and tradespeople provided gift-in-kind contributions to the Warsaw home. A project planning team, consisting of dedicated community members, was responsible for a generous portion of fundraising at the local level, volunteer recruitment, awareness building and special event organization.