Now, a little more than five years later, a home sits on the property once again.
Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers, Mentor-on-the-Lake city officials and even a few neighbors gathered Feb. 17 in the newly built home for its dedication.
“It’s a joyous day for the Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity”, Marketing & Digital Communications Manager Denise Sanzo said.
“It’s the day the house becomes a home”, Director of Development Kathleen Munch added.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came, everyone who has been a part of it, physically, emotionally, anything, we really do appreciate it,” the new homeowner Kirsten said. “It’s definitely a blessing.”
(Kirsten’s last name is being withheld at request.)
Project manager Bill O’Donnell, who has worked with Habitat for Humanity for more than 25 years called it the nicest home they’ve built.
The home is the 91st that Lake-Geauga Habitat for Humanity has built or rehabilitated since the nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry began in the late 1980s.
For Kirsten, the home has been years in the making. According to her family support person, Kirsten has shown how motivated she is through it all. She’s worked full-time while putting herself through school, serving as a full-time single parents and has undergone two surgeries. She’s volunteered at the ReStore and on other family’s homes as well as her own. She even completed her educational requirements at an accelerated pace.
Mentor-on-the-Lake Mayor David Eva expressed interest in having more Habitat for Humanity projects done in the future, noting that the city has several other vacant properties.
“Kirsten…I just wish you the best here and this really turned out nice for the whole community and Lake County,” Eva said.
Munch said they are striving to hit the 100 home mark soon and said there are two other home projects slotted for this year. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Munch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-226-3000 ext. 104.
The old home sat vacant for about half a decade before it was demolished. On the day of the demolition, a neighbor who lived next door told the News-Herald that although she would not miss the dilapidated home, she said it was a little bit sad to see the house removed in such a way.
“That house raised a family. Some people have good memories of it,” neighbor, Debbie Nasady, said.