BERKELEY – When you have a good cause, people simply want to help.
In this case, the good cause is Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity. They partner with families who are looking for a “hand-up, not a hand-out” in owning their first home. The families put in “sweat equity” in helping to build the house that they will eventually live in.
Recently, a “raising the wall” ceremony was held for their 20th home. It’s located on a property on Grand Central Parkway in Berkeley Township. The land was part of an estate given to Habitat.
Nicole Abreu will be moving into that 20th house in August or September, once it’s done. She’s a single mom with two children. Her oldest is already in Berkeley schools so it worked out that he’ll be able to stay in district.
Roofing by Carl’s, a division of Carl’s Fencing, Decking and Home Improvements, donated the roof. “We’re happy that we can be a part of this and a part of the community. We feel very blessed,” said Carl Del Pizzo Sr., who has been a board member with Northern Ocean Habitat for five years.
He said that the company is privileged to join the other sponsors to contribute to the new home, and hopes to be involved in NOHFH’s 21st home starting in the fall.
Randy Laing, owner of Chap Construction, had his company frame the house as a 100% donation, said Kristine Novakowski, executive director of Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity. “Woodhaven Lumber donated all the lumber needed for the house, which was truly amazing due to the major price increases and demand for lumber.”
Other contributors included Ferguson, Christone Electric, Kiely, Benjamin Franklin plumbing, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Jersey Coast Appliance, Lowe’s, Russo Gutters and Exteriors, United Site Services, and Family First Funding.
It could be said that it takes a village to build a home. Ownership of a house is very difficult on two incomes, let alone one. Renting an apartment is easily more than $1,000 a month that you don’t get any equity from. Then, you don’t even have the money for the down payment on a house, let alone mortgage payments.
While this provides an immediate help for a family, it serves a long-term goal as well. Children raised in a safe home are more likely to succeed. They are more likely to have the foundation to be in a better place when they start their own families, and so on. It’s because of this, that the assistance is truly generational. One family is helped now, but the impact will be felt by their grandchildren.
For more information, ideas on how to help, or an application to be considered for the home, visit NOHFH.com.