Habitat for Humanity hands over keys to 54th area home



Habitat House1 Habitat House2By Ron Giofu


It was a very happy Thanksgiving for the Paquette family.

Justin and Melissa along with children Noah, Nash and Ethan had their new home at 784 Richmond St. Saturday afternoon officially dedicated to them in a ceremony presented by Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex (HFHWE). It is the 54th home built by HFHWE and the first the non-profit, faith-based organization has built in Amherstburg.

“It’s finally becoming real now,” said Justin. “A dream has become a reality. It’s actually hard to believe. I’m speechless.”

Justin said it was an exciting day for him and his family.

“I’ve been here since Day 1 (Aug. 21), from the ground up,” said Justin.

The Paquette family originally applied roughly four years ago and signed the contract to partner with Habitat for Humanity in 2011. While they have to wait a few more weeks to move in, Justin said they are very appreciative for the efforts that have led the family this far.

“I’m thankful for the work everyone has done for us to get this house. I can’t explain it. I’m grateful,” he said.

The Paquettes’ new home is a nearly 1,100 square foot brick and vinyl raised ranch with three bedrooms and one bathroom. The Paquette family is eager to move into the home, as soon as their interest-free mortgage is finalized, and they close on the deal around the end of the month.

Pamela Breault, operations manager with Habitat for Humanity, praised the teams of volunteers and sponsors that helped get the house built, almost to completion, in just 7-1/2 weeks. She told the Paquette family the day was “all about you,” adding “your new home is going to be worth millions because in it is a family with hearts of gold.”

“This project has been amazing” says Ed Link, HFHWE board chair. “The community and the town of Amherstburg have been extremely generous and supportive. This was truly a community project, and we couldn’t be more thankful. This will be a very happy Thanksgiving weekend for the Paquette family.”

Renee Lebrun, the build assistant at the Amherstburg site, noted “we’ve come a long way since we had a hole in the ground” and that volunteers worked nine to ten hour days seven days a week to make the home a reality. She praised the many volunteers that helped on the project, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the sponsors and the donors.

Lebrun also thanked the Paquette family and said she will miss the memories that were created during the build.

“It’s time for Justin, Melissa, Noah, Nash and Ethan to make their own memories,” said Lebrun.

It was a “special day” for the Paquette family, agreed HFHWE board member Rebecca Griffeth. Griffeth presented the Paquettes with the keys to their new home. Angie Pare, another HFHWE board member presented housewarming gifts including a Bible and a Home Depot gift card.

“The Paquette family has already invested more than 500 hours of sweat equity into this, their very own home,” said Pare.

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