Home News Local news V.I. Habitat for Humanity Set to Break Ground on First Home

V.I. Habitat for Humanity Set to Break Ground on First Home

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Oct. 29, 2006 — After nearly two years of preparation and fund raising, Habitat for Humanity of the Virgin Islands will break ground Saturday for its first home.
"Truly this will be a glorious day, a culmination of many years of work by many hands," said Tom Bolt, Habitats new executive director and president. "We are witness to our community coming together to help one another."
Habitat will announce its first "partner family" at the groundbreaking, which will be open to the public and begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at No. 4 Adele Gade in the Garden Street area of St. Thomas. Habitat will provide shuttle service from the Fort Christian parking lot to the Habitat site beginning at 8 a.m.
"Habitat will help applicant families develop a budget and continue to provide support for the family after the homebuilding is complete," said Cliff Graham, chair of Habitats family-selection committee. "In addition to the other requirements, the Habitat family will need to invest sweat equity into the home."
Cecile Galiber deJongh and the Galiber family donated the home site for Habitats first project. It is the former home of their grandmother, Adele Louise Galiber. Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn devastated the home, which workers will restore to a three-bedroom, two-bath home for a Habitat family currently living in substandard housing. Habitat will also introduce its new executive director, Dianne Wells, at the groundbreaking.
A Habitat family must live in inadequate housing and lack the ability to obtain a conventional mortgage, but have the ability to pay back a no-interest mortgage loan, real-estate taxes and insurance.
Habitat for Humanity of the U.S. Virgin Islands was incorporated in January 2005 and calls itself "a Christian, faith-based non-profit organization that builds homes and hope through partnerships with individuals, businesses and faith communities."
Volunteers provide most of the labor, and individuals and corporate donors provide money and materials to build Habitat homes, according to a Habitat news release. Habitat family mortgage payments go into a revolving fund used to build more homes. Habitat needs home sites and will accept donations of vacant land and homes in need of renovation. Habitat for Humanity International has more than 3000 affiliates in 100 nations, which have built more than a quarter of a million homes for Habitat families.
For more information, call 340-714-5678 or visit the V.I. Habitat website.
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