LEXINGTON, S.C. — Habitat For Humanity held a dedication ceremony on Tuesday morning for new homes for two families in Lexington.
Habitat For Humanity is a non-profit, Christian based organization. They've been in the Columbia area since 1985. So far they've built almost 200 homes and also help with neighborhood revitalization for lower-income families.
Sonja Webber is the construction former and neighborhood revitalization coordinator for Habitat For Humanity.
"With the way the economy is and [what's] unique about Habitat is having affordable homes," said Webber. "This is a great chance for not only affordable homes but the home ownership and what they can root and it's more than just a house. It's their actually own."
The non-profit has a program where folks can apply for a Habitat home.
"The program is a vigorous program. Usually takes about two years to get in. Once you get accepted in the program. They go through an application process. From the application, they do home assessments. After home assessments, financial classes," explained Webber.
People participate in 13 different classes and volunteer more than 300 hours.
Their most recent project was in the Town of Lexington with assistance of Mt Horeb United Methodist Church and other organizations and volunteers in the community. They were focusing on working on two homes for two families.
Soshonna Monroe and her three sons were one of the families who received a house on Tuesday morning.
"My journey started about four years ago when I started the Habitat For Humanity program. I went in reluctant that I was going to be able to even be a part of the program. I was surprised to be accepted into the program," said Monroe.
Monroe says she spent a lot of time volunteering to help build homes with Habitat For Humanity so she could learn how to upkeep and take care of her own.
"Now here we stand completing our very own projects, putting hands to the dirt to create this home for us,"said Monroe.
"It is a piece of mind," said Monroe. "I'm excited because now my children have a place to forever call home. We never have to worry about going from apartment to apartment or being evicted or being homeless. They will forever have a home."
For Monore, she says the new home symbolizes the completion of building but the start of a new journey for her family.
"This is the beginning of another chapter for us that Habitat and Mt. Horeb helped to create for us," said Monroe.
Wakeelah Truesdale and her son received a home as well on Tuesday morning.
"It's been an extremely long journey; however, it's been worth it every step of the way," said Truesdale.
The non-profit started building the homes in March. With the pandemic, the organization reduced the number of volunteers they had for safety.
At one point, the non-profit had to put construction on pause due to the pandemic.
"I appreciated that they took the time to consider one another, our health, and the health of our children but at the same time that meant my dream had to be put on hold," explained Truesdale. "It was definitely worth being put on hold but it certainly wasn't exciting to be put on hold at all."
"We as a staff really came together and did what we had to do to social distance and continue to get the homes built," said Webber.
"When I say God has a plan and he sets things in order before it even comes to play, before it ever even sparks your idea that this is what's going to happen, He genuinely does," said Truesdale
Truesdale says it's a big deal for her family to have a place to call their own.
"Any person who's living in an apartment or know the life of paying rent month to month, not owning your own land, not owning your own home, you always think about that and think what if or when will my time come," explained Truesdale.
Truesdale says once she started working with Habitat For Human, she felt like her dream was possible to accomplish.
Webber is happy the families are now able to have a place they can call home.
"It's wonderful. I think that's the best part of it," said Webber. "You come out here and you do your labor and it's hot and you're tired and sweaty and with everything going on. At the end of the day to see the smiles on the families' faces and the kids and how they brighten up and they're excited about which room is going to be their room... we just stand back and just look at the hard work and the progress. It's just all so exciting and I thank God for that."