THUNDER BAY – A new year is bringing a new home and a new beginning to a Thunder Bay family in need. Today Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay representatives officially handed over the keys of a single-dwelling home to the Williams family, as they welcomed dignitaries and Habitat volunteers into their new house. Habitat volunteers have been working on the home since May of 2011. Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay CEO Diane Mitchell says; “This is by far my favourite part of any build, especially this time around. This is truly a home that was built by the community.”
It was only a year ago that Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay faced a major cash crisis and was forced to tell the Williams family that they would not get the home they were promised. After this story was shared by local media, the community did the unthinkable and sold out Habitat’s annual fundraising raffle.
Mitchell continued, “Today we stand here because of the efforts of the people of Thunder Bay, and of course, Habitat’s hard working volunteers. We are ecstatic to welcome the Williams family into their new home.”
New home owner Rutland Williams is originally from Jamaica and owns the Caribbean Kitchen in Thunder Bay. Williams says; “I have always dreamt of the day when I would be handed keys to my very own home and today I still feel like I am dreaming. This home represents a better life and more opportunity for my family, a brand new beginning. I cannot say thank you to Habitat for family with a hand up, and fulfill our national mission which is to break the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay changes lives, families and communities.”
The City of Thunder Bay benefits from Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay directly. The organization helps the community prosper by assisting families improve their financial and social situation, decrease their dependence on social services and create new homeowners who pay local property taxes. Habitat also invests in areas of the city by building new infrastructure. Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay has provided a home for 22 families in need. The not-for-profit organization is hoping to build two homes in 2012, which solely depends on securing land in the city.