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
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
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
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
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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
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.