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Habitat to build two new homes for families in 2021

One family is from Ethiopia spent 17 years in a refugee camp

Habitat for Humanity has announced it is building two new houses for families in our community in 2021.

The houses will be Habitat's 13th and 14th homes on Wellington St. W.

A press release issued by the organization today states one of the families arrived from Ethiopia in 2017, and the other is a local family who has been renting a home.

The full release from Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area reads as follows:

Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area is excited to introduce its two newest Habitat families to the community: The Anasho Sale Dabi family and the Kyle family will move into Habitat’s 13th and 14th homes on Wellington Street West in 2021 – pandemic permitting.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but we haven’t lost focus on our mission. We managed to complete the Oakwood build earlier this month and we welcomed two new families into our Affordable Homeownership Program. We will continue to work with community partners to make affordable housing available to local families that need it,” states Katie Blunt, Habitat’s Executive Director.

Anasho, his wife Layde, and his two children, Samira (8) and Ibrahim (4) are newcomers to Canada as of 2017. Prior to their arrival, the family lived in the Shimelba refugee camp in Tigray, Ethiopia for 17 years.

The family has moved three times in their three years in Canada, and have had to adjust to our chilly climate, but still feel “so lucky” to be chosen to come here, noting that it is a “very nice country, with very nice people.” The family enjoys living in Sault Ste. Marie in particular.

Anasho and Layde say that their dream is for their children to have a good life – a better life than they had. They look forward to owning their own home in which they can spend “lots of family time with lots of love.”

When asked what home means to them, the family states that “Home means a new chapter in our family’s life – a fresh start, safety, security, and unity.”

Samantha Kyle, and her daughters, Michaela and Rylee, were equally excited to learn that they were accepted into Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program and could look forward to their very own home.

The family currently rents their home, and Samantha notes that increasing rent prices, heightened cost of living, having ever-hungry mouths to feed, and other personal circumstances have pushed her dream of homeownership further and further into the future.

“This year alone had one issue after another hit me in waves, and it’s made that goal of taking the next step in life feel impossibly out of reach. [I’ve been] stuck in a current – life situations were pulling me away from that goal of having a home,” explains Samantha.

This opportunity at affordable homeownership will allow Samantha to focus on her family’s future and her educational goals.  She looks forward to smudging her new home as soon as she moves in.

I can’t say that this opportunity is the only way I [could] ever own a home … I might still win the lottery or find out I’m secretly adopted and I’m really a princess. Or I could work multiple jobs to save enough for a down payment when I’m 50. I’m just as likely to star in a reality TV show or wake up with the ability to sing,” Samantha jokes, “This Habitat Home lets me be right here, right now, in this lifetime, with my children, enjoying a home. Together.”

The home on Wellington Street West will be a semi-detached home with preliminary designs by Cutting Edge Designs. The build is supported by Sal Dan Construction Group, Soo Mill Buildall, and Area Real Estate Appraisals.

“Building new homes in this historic neighbourhood that has supported the success of so many families in Sault Ste. Marie is so meaningful. Even before the Steel Plant attracted so many families to build better lives, this neighbourhood has been a gathering place for First Nations people all over Turtle Island. With so many of us in SSM having roots in this part of town, including myself, it really highlights the resilience and support that this community has at its heart,” states Allyson Schmidt, Chair of Habitat’s Family Services Committee.

As a non-profit, Habitat relies on the generosity of volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors, and the community. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing financially to affordable homeownership in the community, please email [email protected]

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