Habitat for Humanity home build means better future for local family

The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed the process, but it's not stopping Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent from building a new future for another local family.

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have delayed the process, but it’s not stopping Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent from building a new future for another local family.

Melanie Dramnitzke and her daughters, Terri, 13, and Rhonda, 6, are the future owners of the seventh home being built by Habitat for Humanity in Chatham-Kent. Ground was broken recently on Bethel Road in Wallaceburg, which is the second home the volunteer organization is building in the community.

The Dramnitzke family would have likely been in their new home if not for the pandemic, which prompted the project to be put on hold last year.

“It was kind of a bummer at first because we were all excited and (the build) got put off,” Dramnitzke said.

But, she added, it was better to wait because she would have felt horrible if anyone contractedt COVID-19 while working on her family’s new home.

As Dramnitzke watched the province begin to open up, only to go into lockdown again during the pandemic, she wondered if the build would ever happen.

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But when the phone call came recently that the build was going to start, Dramnitzke said she was “so shocked and overwhelmed … I couldn’t believe it was real – it was actually happening.”

Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent is in the process of changing the life of Melanie Dramnitzke and her two daughters with the agency’s seventh home build underway on Bethel Road in Wallaceburg. It is the second home Habitat has built in Wallaceburg.
Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent is in the process of changing the life of Melanie Dramnitzke and her two daughters with the agency’s seventh home build underway on Bethel Road in Wallaceburg. It is the second home Habitat has built in Wallaceburg.

She said being chosen to be the owners of the newest Habitat home has tremendous meaning for her family.

“It’s more than them just building a home. They’re building a strong foundation for a better future and a new beginning for us,” Dramnitzke said.

She has gone by the site of the build a few times to take photos, even though the project has just begin.

“I’m pretty excited. I want to see the process.”

She said her daughters are enjoying being part of the process, including picking out the paint colours for their bedroom.

“They’re really excited about having their own separate space,” Dramnitzke said.

Kaitlyn Ferren, family services committee chair and a Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent board member, said it’s anticipated the Dramnitzke family will be moving into their new home by late fall.

She said this the first time the local Habitat chapter is partnering with AUBI Construction, which has taken the lead on the beginning steps of the process.

“We do believe that partnership may help us have a quicker build than we have had in the past,” Ferren said.

Mark Timmermans, AUBI president, said the company partnered with Habitat for Humanity as way to get involved in the community while giving back “to people in need.”

“Every family should have a decent home to raise their family and here at AUBI we believe Habitat for Humanity provides that exact opportunity,” he said.

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Sacwal Flooring Centres in Chatham has been involved with Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent since its 2015 build and, since 2017, has committed to donating and installing flooring products for all the charitable organization’s home builds.

“Sacwal Flooring Centres Chatham is honoured to once again assist Habitat for Humanity C-K in their goal of making positive changes in the lives of C-K families in need,” stated the company in a media release.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has also supported Habitat during its previous builds.

“The need for affordable housing is growing and it is great to see organizations such as (Habitat for Humanity) persevere through the pandemic to continue building homes and supporting local families into homeownership,” Mayor Darrin Canniff said in the release.

Partner families with Habitat purchase their home through an affordable, zero-interest mortgage geared to their income – making the transition to homeownership possible for many families in the community.

For more information visit their webpage at www.habitatchatham-kent.ca

eshreve@postmedia.com

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