Charleston Habitat for Humanity Dedicates 2nd Home in Two Weeks

Juanita and her 17 year old daughter, Sara

Charleston Habitat for Humanity dedicated its second house in two weeks, thanks to an anonymous donor motivated by the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The generous supporter was moved by Pope Francis’s message of unity and service, and sought to engage the community in the building of a home for a deserving family, providing a unifying and celebratory opportunity for both Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers to work together toward a common goal.

On Saturday, April 1st, Juanita and her 17 year old daughter, Sara received keys to their new home at 2548 Celestial Court in North Charleston – a home built by hundreds of volunteers making a difference. The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston, blessed the house during the ceremony.

Since 2005, Juanita and her daughter have been sharing a one bedroom apartment, a setup that has become more challenging since Sara became a teenager. Now, they will have a 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom house of their own in the Joppa Way neighborhood.

Juanita and Sara have spent more than 500 hours of “sweat equity” preparing for home ownership. This included assisting volunteers with the construction of their own home, while simultaneously helping build two other Habitat homes in North Charleston, and successfully completing financial management and home maintenance classes.

“Working on the house with the other volunteers has been a great experience,” Porter said. “Once you have put your own hands to building something you appreciate it more. Everyone I have met through the process has been friendly and wonderful. You can tell all the volunteers on this project are working with their hearts. It’s a mission for them.”
While the journey of one individual’s monetary contribution comes to a conclusion this Saturday in the Holy City of Charleston, the legacy is only beginning.

The anonymous donor has provided numerous “Pope Francis” houses around the country, with three built in South Carolina. Matching funds from the faith and local community, along with 3,010 volunteer hours from Charleston area residents, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, and community youth helped the Juanita and Sara achieve their dream of home ownership.

Charleston Habitat for Humanity will provide Juanita with an affordable 30 year interest-free mortgage. Those monthly installments will be channeled into the construction of more Habitat homes for other families, continuing the cycle of building hope, communities, and hope that is the hallmark of Habitat’s mission.

This is the 85th new home built by Charleston Habitat for Humanity. Construction on Joppa Way began in 2013, with eight homes now completed, and plans to complete 15 new structures in the neighborhood by 2018.

Those inspired by the story of this home are invited to join Charleston Habitat as they begin building the next home for a hard working family in two weeks.

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