KAMLOOPS — Since 1985, Habitat For Humanity Canada has been helping people by building homes for families in need of adequate, affordable housing. On Saturday, Habitat Kamloops board members and staff gathered at the ReStore on Cariboo Place, to tell two families that they’d been chosen to receive the newest homes the organisation plans to build.
“Jeremy and Kristine… Scott, I’d like you to meet your new neighbours!” Celine Calfa, Executive Director for the Kamloops chapter of Habitat For Humanity, changed the lives of two families on Saturday with that simple introduction. The Watsons and Harris family found out they’d been selected by the as the recipients of brand new houses, to be built in 2017. Calfa’s introduction was met with disbelief.
“The committee tricked me completely,” said Scott Harris, a father of five, and recipient of a new home.
“We heard it was going to be later on the day that the decision was going to be made,” Jeremy Watson explained. Watson and his wife Kristine have three children; the couple said they had no idea they’d been chosen. “It was definitely a surprise.”
For Celfa, this day has been a long time coming.
“We have been in family selection mode for almost five months now,” she explained. “The Board of Directors finally made their decision on Wednesday night, and we invited these two families to come today, under the pretense we still wanted to do one more interview.”
Construction has yet to begin on the houses, but it’s not like either family will just be handed the keys; there’s an expectation they put in some hours to help build their new homes.
“We’ll start setting them up to do their sweat equity hours,” she explained. “There’s 500 hours that need to be completed before they actually move in,” adding “we hope to have construction start in April, and finishing in November, so they’ll be able to move in before Christmas.”
For both families, this is an opportunity to improve their living situations, as well as their children’s lives.
“This is definitely a blessing, and we're definitely really happy for it,” Jeremy Watson said.
For Scott Harris: “ We’re completely blessed and extremely fortunate to have this opportunity. We just want to thank everybody involved.”
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