Spring is here and the days are getting more beautiful, offering a perfect setting for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s final kickoff ceremony in its 10-house subdivision in the neighborhood of Shiloh. This past Wednesday, a crowd of Habitat supporters, donors, volunteers, future homeowners, and staff gathered together to celebrate the start of the final three homes on McKinley Avenue, a new road off Taft Avenue.
Future homeowners Holt Pearce, Stefan and Nina Tehnilenco, and Tim Bromley and Jenny Giannetto mingled with the crowd as one-by-one, people stepped up to sign the studs that will be used in their respective houses. It was also a great opportunity for the future owners to meet the people behind the sponsorships that are helping fund the up-front construction costs of their houses. The homeowners will pay an affordable mortgage after they purchase their homes.
In early May of last year, Habitat raised the wall of the first house in its Shiloh: Let’s Build! campaign, an initiative in which the organization planned to build 15 new houses and complete 30 Home Repair projects in the Shiloh neighborhood by September 2017. With the start of these final three houses, Habitat is rounding the corner on reaching its goal, thanks to support from individuals and businesses in the community who helped by donating to and volunteering with Habitat.
Pearce’s future home is dually sponsored by Pisgah Foundation and “Friends of Habitat”; the foundation is a long-time supporter of Asheville Habitat, especially for its work in the community of Shiloh. “Friends of Habitat” is new group of caring individuals who want to build a home in honor of Asheville Habitat’s previous executive director Lew Kraus and in the memory of his son Jon Kraus. The Tehnilenco’s future home is sponsored by another enthusiastic Habitat supporter, AvL Technologies. This will be the company’s third full-house sponsorship, not including two other partial house sponsorships. Finally, the Bromley-Giannetto’s home, fondly dubbed “Grandpa’s House”, is sponsored by a local family in memory of several generations of grandfathers who helped build the communities they lived in.
The anonymous donor behind Grandpa’s House summarized her feelings in a quote by Aja Graydon: “At the core of who we are is the roots of those that have influenced our lives the most, and the impact of what they have exposed us to is always there. When the foundation is laid with love and commitment, our lives will always reflect that of which we have been taught.”