story & photos
by Karen Butera
Sometimes dreams do come true. With the help of Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut (HFHECT), dreams came true this month for the Robidas family. On October 19, Lorielle Robidas and her three children, Jillian, 11, Samuel, 9, and Jonah, 4, were presented the keys to their new home.
Lorielle, who has been living with her parents and sister for the past four years said, “I am very excited and nervous. This has been like a dream. I have been praying for this for a long time.”
“This home had been a current Habitat home that is now remodeled with a new kitchen, bathroom, plumbing and electrical,” said Terri O’Rourke, Executive Director of HFHECT.
Tony Falzarano, Mayor, Putnam, was on hand to welcome the family to Putnam. A hand-knitted blanket was presented to Robida by Barbara Phaneuf of the HFHECT Board of Directors. It was a blanket that is presented to all new HFHECT homeowners. A quilt came from the Ninegrit Quilters of Westerly. Pastor Lane Lavender of the Lighthouse Church in Plainfield was there to give a blessing over the house.
While addressing her family, friends and volunteers who helped with the house, Robida said, “This is the best day of our lives. I can’t believe we are finally here.” The work was long and hard, but with lots of family support and help from others, the keys were handed over to the Robida family. The key turned in the lock and the door opened to welcome everyone inside the three-bedroom home, complete with a leaf-filled yard for the kids to play in.
Families can apply to Habitat by attending an Applicant Information Meeting to receive a pre-application. A selection committee makes their decision with three things in mind; the need an applicant has for decent affordable housing, the ability to pay the mortgage and other fees that come with owning a home and being able to collaborate with HFHECT to provide 400 hours of “sweat equity.”
For more information, you may contact the HFHECT office at 860-442-7890 or visit www.theresident.com!