The owner of the Saint John region’s new Habitat for Humanity home says it’s more than just any home.
Bobbie Craft, a single mother of four sons, ranging in age from three to 13, took possession of the home Friday at a ceremony in Grand Bay-Westfield, just west of Saint John.
The modular home was built by the New Brunswick Community College in Saint Andrews and placed on its foundation in Grand Bay-Westfield. It marks a special time in the family’s difficult life so far.
“I’ve never fully unpacked and I’ve never hung a picture frame on a wall with pictures of my own kids,” Craft said.
She described a life of domestic violence, living in a women’s shelter with her kids and bringing her children to university with her because of a lack of affordable childcare. She says owning her own home is a dream come true, especially for her children.
“This gives children more confidence,” she explained. “It helps them increase their grades… and this is a generational thing that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to change. I’ve never owned a home. My parents have never owned a home.”
A surprise guest for many at the event was the province’s new lieutenant-governor the Honourable Brenda Murphy who is Craft’s Godmother.
“When I knew that she’d been selected with this program I was really excited for her because…she’s a fighter and she’s fought a lot,” said Murphy. “I mean everyone who has a Habitat home is deserving and Bobbie is especially.”
Habitat homes are not free. There is an interest free mortgage to keep with five hundred hours of so-called “sweat equity” as a down payment.
Still the events are emotional for all involved.
“As we bring these families in partnership toward the completion of their home you can really see where they start to see the light, in some respects, at the end of that tunnel for them,” said Kevin Perry, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the Saint John Region.
“To be honest its a magical time.”
There will be two more home dedication ceremonies in greater Saint John later this year.