Habitat for Humanity hosts home dedication in Columbus

Published 12:05 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

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COLUMBUS – Thursday, March 9, was a day Alicia Price and her family will never forget. 

Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity hosted its first in-person home dedication in over two years to celebrate the Price family moving into their new home in Columbus, one they helped build with their very own hands.

The construction of the four-bedroom, two-bath home was a coordinated effort between Price, the Habitat for Humanity construction crew and countless volunteers. 

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Surrounded by the volunteers and staff that helped make her dream of homeownership a reality, Price received the keys to her new home

The ceremony began with remarks from Linda Saturno, the Executive Director for Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity, who, like all speakers, thanked the volunteers and staff for their hard work. 

“A house is not a home until someone is living there,” Saturn said. “Consistent, safe housing makes such a difference in the three stages of a child’s life. Young children grow and learn better. Preteens are more likely to succeed from simple factors such as having a place to do their homework. And teenagers are far less likely to develop behavioral issues. Statistics show 83% of children who grow up in a Habitat-built home attend college, and 61% become homeowners themselves.” 

Board Chairman Jim White also addressed the crowd, not just as the chairman but also as a volunteer on the project. 

“We had a good team working on this house. It’s a solid, affordable, safe and attractive house, and we think Alicia’s family will thrive here,” White said. “This project, and the one next to it being built, shows that Habitat is committed to this community and looks forward to being a part of it for a long time.” 

Columbus Mayor Pat McCool expressed appreciation for Habitat’s work in the community, and Construction Site Supervisor Doug Bailey thanked the two key sponsors of the house, Hayes Roofing and Prince Grading. 

Price shared a Bible verse before joining the Homeowner Service Team for the dedication litany, and Pastor Philip Wiehe led the house blessing. 

After the keys to the new home were handed off, Price and her family joined Saturno in the ribbon-cutting. Cheers from the crowd erupted as the bright green ribbon fell to the ground. 

“This house was a blessing from God, and my kids and I feel so blessed by this home,” Price said.” We are all so thankful to the volunteers and Habitat for their hard work.” 

Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity works to eliminate barriers to a more financially stable life through home ownership. Future homeowners who earn below 80% of the area median income, demonstrate a need and an ability to pay, and are willing to partner with the organization qualify for a Habitat home. 

Partnership with Habitat includes contributing at least 300 hours in “sweat equity,” saving for closing costs, and completing homebuyer education courses.

Homeowner Selection Coordinator Ruth Simons added that Habitat also has a home repair program, in addition to its homeownership program. 

“Thermal Belt has applications open for our program that provides home repairs, ramps, and rails for elderly and disabled people in the area who might need them in their home,” Ruth said

Habitat will be hosting a Drive-Thru Dinner at Tryon Presbyterian Church located at 430 Harmon Field Rd. in Tryon on Thursday, March 16. For more information on that fundraising event, or on the organization’s homeownership program, visit thermalbelthabitat.org. Habitat is currently looking for homeowners for the program, and will be accepting applications until March 31.