Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on home No. 20

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[March 16, 2016]   LINCOLN - On Sunday afternoon, with a gentle rain falling, a large group gathered on North Madison Street in Lincoln for the groundbreaking ceremony for the 20th Habitat for Humanity home in Logan County.

The home will become the property of Linda Brown and her three grandchildren. Brown explained that she is in her mid-fifties and works as a head cook at Central School. She thought she was done raising children, but then something happened, and she found that her three grandchildren, Terry, Destiny and Donathan needed her to step up and become their parent. It was a task she was happy to take on, but it brought with it some challenges.

Linda was living in a two bedroom rental property. With the addition of three youngsters, her home soon became crowded. The two boys, Terry, and Donathan share a bedroom, and Linda and granddaughter Destiny share a bedroom.

The new home they are now going to help build will have more room on the whole, and will include three bedrooms. The two boys will still share a room, but Linda and Destiny will each have a room of their own.

Before earning their home, Linda had to give 'sweat equity' to Habitat projects for a period of time. She said much of what she did included working at Habitat fundraisers held at Culver's and handing out fliers.

When construction begins, Linda as well as the kids, are planning on picking up those hammers and driving nails into their own home.

Linda also noted that in addition to providing a better environment for the kids, this will also be the first time she has ever owned a home. Linda will be set up on a payment plan with Habitat, and will over a period of time she will pay back a large portion of her loan. If she can make payments consistently and on a timely basis, a large portion of her loan will be forgiven, and the home will be entirely hers in about five years.

The day began with opening remarks from Habitat President Cince Bowns.

Lincoln Mayor Marty Neitzel congratulated the Browns on their new home to be built and commented that there was a need for quality housing in Lincoln that Habitat is helping to fill through its program.

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Ward two Alderwoman Michelle Bauer was also on hand. She too congratulated the family and spoke out, encouraging volunteers to get involved with the build.

Bowns led the group in the Litany of Purpose, then Ed Tibbits of His Hands Outreach read the scriptures for the day. Habitat Vice-president Mitzi Rohlfs led the Litany of Promise, and Tom Frost offered up a few words on the construction project that lay before them.

The Litany of Home and the Litany of Faith were recited, then Brown spoke, expressing her excitement about becoming a homeowner. She too asked for volunteers to lend a hand so that she can move her family into suitable housing, the sooner, the better.

The closing prayer was offered by Tibbits, who then invited everyone to come around the corner to the Hope Grows Community Center for fellowship and refreshments.

After the service, Tibbits explained his role in the days events. This was the first time he has been asked to participate in a groundbreaking and he was both nervous and excited about it. This is normally a pastoral responsibility, but Linda Brown had asked that Tibbits do it instead because her grandchildren are involved with many of the activities at Hope Grows.

Habitat is a non-denominational faith-based organization, as are Hope Grows and His Hand Ministries. Tibbits said that it shows that such organizations are having a positive impact on the lives of people in Lincoln and Logan County.

[Nila Smith]

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