(Submitted by Habitat for Humanity of Wood County)
Habitat for Humanity of Wood County hosted a home dedication ceremony Wednesday evening in North Baltimore. Howard and Amanda Rhoads were passed symbolic keychains to their new home to kick off the celebration. They will soon move out of their mobile home in need of expensive, significant repairs.
“There’s water leaking, there’s mold growing in the closet of one of the bedrooms, too. That can be very dangerous,” Amanda Rhoads said. “We won’t have to think about how much money is it going to take to fix this, this and this. It’s dollar-ing us to death.”
The Rhoads applied to the program after learning about the organization’s presence in Weston.
“I drove around and noticed those houses behind us, and those are Habitat houses,” Howard Rhoads said. “I stopped and asked the guy, ‘What would it take for us to get one of these?’”
After speaking to the homeowner, he contacted the office and learned the house in North Baltimore was looking for a family.
“And that really caught his ear because he has family in North Baltimore,” Amanda Rhoads said.
The home was originally built by Habitat for Humanity in 2012, and was rehabbed for the family last year. The project was made possible with support from Cedar Creek Church, Charter Steel and a Hancock-Wood Cooperative grant.
Members of the family also contributed 500 hours of sweat equity through volunteering, including chore charts for the kids, before closing on the home.
“I just want these guys to know what it feels like to have something that we’ve worked for,” Howard Rhoads said. “They’ve worked for it, too. They’ve worked really hard at this.”
Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mark Ohashi acknowledges just how hard the family worked through the process.
“From completing landscaping to attending community events, this family really got behind our mission and we are proud to have them as our newest homeowners,” Ohashi said.
As for the Rhoads, their involvement is just getting started. The family has already been a source of successful referrals for the homeownership program.
“We’re continuing to work with Habitat and promote it. They’ve really helped us so much—I mean, they’ve changed our lives pretty much,” Howard Rhoads said.
Habitat for Humanity will dedicate another home at 5:30 p.m., July 28 in Walbridge.
Habitat for Humanity of Wood County partners with people in Wood County and all over the world to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Since its inception, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County has built 37 homes. For more information, visit wchabitat.org.