YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday by breaking ground on a new home.
Habitat officials broke ground at the property on Oak Street Extension on the east side of Youngstown. This home will be the eighth built on the city’s east side as part of Habitat’s goal to provide housing in low-income areas.
Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County Executive Director Monica Craven said the homes have made a positive impact in the Lincoln Knolls neighborhood.
“If you drive around and look at them, the yards are beautiful. The families are excited. There is people sitting out on the porches. The neighborhoods have started to improve around them, roads are repaved, new lights, new playgrounds. Neighbors are fixing their houses up, so you can start to see a whole community rallying around just these few houses in the area,” Craven said.
Lian Prisby and her three children will live in the home. As part of this process, Prisby already has completed home ownership classes, including financial planning, and has saved for a down payment.
“It’s still very unbelievable. It does not feel real yet. Probably when we start putting the nails in the ground. It feels like a dream almost because after applying with so many different places for housing, the whole process. They made it real easy though,” Prisby said.
Habitat hopes to raise the walls in September and have the home completed by the holiday season.
The home will be Habitat’s 44th house that they have either built or rehabilitated since they started serving the community. It’s being sponsored by local faith groups, with about a dozen participating so far. Craven said they’re looking for about a dozen more to volunteer.
“We’re using this as an opportunity to reach out to places that maybe had not had a relationship with us before and show them they can put their faith into action. We expect about a third of the churches will be new,” Craven said.
Habitat still needs about $30,000 in either cash or donations to help complete its fundraising goal for the Prisby home.