Last week, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity hosted a home dedication in Frogtown for three families who will be moving into their homes over the next few months. Despite the evening’s bitter chill, the celebration was filled with warmth as the homebuyers expressed excitement and gratitude, site supervisors shared construction stories, and sponsors reminded us why supporting Habitat is so important.
Guests gathered at the Lafond Avenue home of Naima Ibrahim, pictured here with her family. A single mother of four, Naima cannot wait to move into her home and give her children a new life. “Thank you for building my house,” Naima said through strong emotions. “This is my future—my dream for my four kids.”
Hussein and Asli, who will move into a home in South St. Paul, asked their son, Ahmed, to say a few words on behalf of the family. With much enthusiasm, he thanked God for giving us peace and thanked the many hands who helped build this home “for the children who have bright futures ahead.” Ahmed, the oldest of seven children, is a student at Hamline University. Site Supervisor Katie Ulwelling thanked Women Build, the home's Major Sponsor, for their contributions and volunteer hours on this house. Katie also acknowledged the Global Village group for getting construction started and the regular crews who are now finishing up the house.
Tekle and Kebebe have been working on their house on Hazelwood Street in St. Paul with site supervisor Zack Zoul. After Tekle said ‘thank you’ more times than I could count, Zack talked about the family’s time on site. He described Tekle’s strong work ethic and ability to motivate volunteers and spoke fondly of their discussions during construction.
Mike Headrick of PCL Construction, the Keystone Sponsor for Naima’s home, warmly added his congratulations and shared in the families’ excitement for this next step in their lives. He recognized the homebuyers’ commitment to Habitat through sweat equity hours and homeownership classes. “It’s all about you,” Mike said turning to the homebuyers, “That’s why we’re here.”
COO of Twin Cities Habitat, Mary Schumacher, described that home dedications are a demonstration of how communities come together to support a common mission. They are powerful, moving events that you leave “with your heart singing.” Mary thanked the three homebuyer families for allowing all of us to be part of their lives for a while and thanked the parents, in particular, for their “fierce determination to make a better life for [their] children.”
Finally, Jeff Bjustrom, a board member for TCHFH, thanked the many sponsors for their time and treasure that supported the building these homes. Jeff extended his congratulations and shared how moved he was by the dedication ceremony. He led the group in the dedication litany and presented the families with a framed Golden Rule. “I am a true believer in Habitat’s mission”, Jeff shared. “It becomes real to me when I get to meet families on the build site. Pride and optimism on the faces of these families is a true inspiration.” As Jeff spoke, Tekle and Kebebe’s youngest daughter ran to him for a big hug—the icing on the cake of a beautiful celebration.