CINCINNATI – Thanks to Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity (www.cincinnati-habitat.org), Ohio National Financial Services, and the Eastside Coalition of Churches, three area families will now have a much-needed home of their own, just in time for the holidays. Ohio National Financial Services sponsored two Habitat homes at 3588 and 3592 Dick Street as part of their five year commitment to build 10 homes in the Cincinnati community. The Eastside Coalition of Churches sponsored the third build at 3584 Dick Street. Cincinnati Habitat has built 11 homes in the three-block radius surrounding Dick Street over the last four years.
The dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 3588 Dick Street. Ohio National’s incoming CEO, Gary “Doc” Hoffman, will speak. The community and members of the news media are welcomed to attend.
The home at 3588 Dick Street will belong to Jane Huff. A single grandmother raising four grandchildren, Huff has worked for the University of Cincinnati for more than 20 years, and is very excited to be building and buying a home with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity. She says, “this is something (my) grandchildren deserve, a place they can always call home, even after (I have) gone. I have always dreamed of being able to provide my grandchildren a home of their own.”
Next door, at 3592 Dick Street, the home will belong to Stephona Bowman. A single mother of two girls, Bowman works for Fifth Third Bank, and graduated from Antonelli College this past June with her Business Degree in Technical and Network Support. “I have spent a lifetime of renting and, at times, in less than desirable housing. This opportunity to build and buy my own home provides a long-term sense of security in having something of our own,” said Bowman.
These will be the third and fourth homes sponsored by Ohio National Financial Services. To celebrate 100 years as part of the Cincinnati community, Ohio National Financial Services announced its commitment to fund the construction of 10 Habitat for Humanity homes over the next five years – the largest ever one-time gift to Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity – in early 2009. Each Habitat for Humanity home sponsored by Ohio National symbolizes a decade in its 100-year history. The $780,000 gift will fund two homes each year for five years from 2009–2013.
The Eastside Coalition home at 3584 Dick Street will belong to single mother, Chala Lewis and her three daughters, Makayla, 14, Kaylen, 9, and Alana, 5. “All of my life, I have wanted my own home. I used to dream as a child to have the perfect family—children, husband, cars and my very own home. My life did not turn out to be the way I dreamt when I was a child. But, I want to show my children that through hard work, dedication, and the grace of God, all things are possible. I want this home to give them a sense of ownership and something that they will appreciate and cherish,” said Lewis, who also often speaks to organizations about her experience with Cincinnati Habitat.
The third home at 3584 Dick Street was sponsored by the Eastside Coalition of Churches. The Eastside Coalition has been working in partnership with Cincinnati Habitat since its founding in 1986, when they helped to build Cincinnati Habitat’s first home, making them Cincinnati Habitat’s oldest building group. Over the years, they have helped build over 35 homes in Cincinnati. Also, Alan Griffith, lead site coordinator for the Eastside Coalition, was named Habitat for Humanity of Ohio Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding commitment and leadership. Eight new churches have recently been added to the Eastside Coalition, so they will be able to build another house this year.
“These builds truly exemplify what Habitat can do with the community’s support. We are so thankful to Ohio National for their generous donation and to the Eastside Coalition for their continued involvement and support over the years,” said Ed Lee, Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity Executive Director. “These organizations are helping Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity achieve an unprecedented level of service. I cannot say enough about these organizations and the fantastic volunteers who made home ownership a reality for these families.”
To qualify for their Habitat homes, the families had to meet a variety of criteria and work beside volunteers from Ohio National Financial Services and the Eastside Coalition, investing 500 hours of sweat equity into the construction of their homes. Cincinnati Habitat will sell the home to the families with a 0%, 20-year, interest-free mortgage payable to Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity.
For more information on Cincinnati Habitat or to volunteer, visit www.cincinnatihabitat.org, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CincyHabitat, or like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CincinnatiHabitat.
About Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity
Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate substandard housing by building and renovating simple, decent, affordable homes to sell to low-income families in need. Cincinnati Habitat works in equal partnership with families, volunteers and donors building a sense of community as well as affordable housing. Our partners include corporations, churches, foundations, organizations and individual donors who donate money, labor and materials to fund and build our homes. Cincinnati Habitat has built over 210 homes in neighborhoods that include Avondale, Clifton, Columbia Tusculum, Evanston, Harrison, Hyde Park, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, Madisonville, Millcreek Valley, Mt. Auburn, Mt. Washington, North Fairmount, Northside, Oakley, Over-the-Rhine, Price Hill, South Cumminsville, South Fairmount, Walnut Hills, Westwood and Winton Place, among others. For more information, visit www.cincinnatihabitat.org.