Habitat holds 64th house blessing

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The rainy weather on Wednesday did not dampen spirits at a house blessing. 

St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity held its 64th house blessing for a home on Olive Street. 

Tommy and his two daughters, ages 9 and 6, cut the ribbon on their new home Wednesday morning. A short ceremony was held including a candle lighting, house dedication, prayer and gifts. 

Melissa Koch is the Executive Director for St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity. She said Tommy, who works as a caregiver at Choices, completed the required 400 hours of sweat equity, 10 hours of homeowner classes and made his one-and-a-half percent down payment on the house within three months. Koch said usually it takes people around six months to a year to complete everything.

“I didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Tommy said. “All I knew was that I needed to do hours and I needed to volunteer and that I had been accepted and I just started working. When I get set on something I want to do, I work as hard as I can so I got everything done I needed and got it all accomplished and got in here faster than anticipated or expected and it’s been a big blessing. It’s been a fun journey and I’ve learned a lot and it feels good to know that all these people are here for help and I want to get involved and pay it back too.”

Tommy said he feels overwhelmed, relieved and excited to have a place for his family.

“Now we have a place we know is always ours, we always are here,” Tommy said. “We’ve had some rare, strange occurrences that have happened and we don’t have to go through any of those obstacles anymore, we can focus more now on the future and on other things to get further instead of always wondering where we’re going to live and what we’re going to do.”

Koch said the 65th and 66th house blessings are planned before the end of June.

“All the hardship, figuring out how to pay for it, how to get it done, getting volunteers, all that comes together on a day like this, you just know what you’ve done, you didn’t put a Band-Aid on something, you really changed somebody’s life permanently and I don’t know that that could ever get old.”