Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity has been keeping busy this summer in the community, most recently with the organization celebrating the groundbreaking last week of the nonprofit organization’s 75th Habitat home
Keedra Reeders and her son, Damien, are set to be the newest local Habitat homeowners, and the community was invited to join the celebration of their milestone on Thursday, July 21. Joined by Habitat staff, family and friends, the duo officially began their exciting journey to homeownership after a year of anticipation.
“We are so blessed to be able to partner with families like Keedra, and we’re so grateful for all the hard work she has already put in,” said Renee Robinson, executive director of Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity. “She’s been in our program a long time, this has been a long time coming, and we are glad that it is finally here.”
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Robinson, standing before the foundation of what will be the Reeders’ new home, said they broke ground and thanked attendees for joining the ceremony. With Habitat staff and volunteers working diligently on the site every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they anticipate completing the home this upcoming December.
“We’re able to do the work that we do with support from community members like you all and are honored to get to work with those like Keedra,” Robinson said.
Kimberly Bell, director of family services for Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity, offered an introduction to the homeowner from working closely with the Reeders family since the start of their Habitat journey.
“[Keedra] is so sweet, and she has been so patient and flexible while we’ve been working through major land shortage over the last year,” Bell said. “And we were just trying to find a spot that was going to be buildable and affordable.”
Bell said the plot of land they eventually found for Keedra’s new home was “meant to be.”
“Sometimes I think that the land actually picks the homeowner, and I think that that was definitely the situation in this case,” Bell said.
Keedra, who currently lives in Ashland, has held many ties to the Doswell community over the years. She is currently a member of the Jerusalem Baptist Church, which is located just up the road from the site of her new Doswell home, where she teaches vacation bible school and serves as a member of the church’s dance team.
“Just to have these resources right next door and to have that support system surrounding her – that’s going to result in long-term success for her and Damien,” Bell said.
In addition, Keedra will be surrounded by a network of family members who reside in Doswell. She said one of the main benefits of the spot is its close proximity to her grandmother.
Among the family members who joined Thursday’s celebration was her cousin and deacon at Jerusalem Baptist Church, Dietric Edwards. He offered the ceremony’s invocation, scripture reading, prayer of blessing and led a groundbreaking litany with attendees joining in blessing the land.
“I thank Habitat for Humanity for stepping up and doing God’s work and helping out those in need,” Edwards said. “…By doing so, I know you touch [Keedra] in so many ways, and I know she’s a giver. She has a big heart, big smile, she’s always doing stuff for the church, stuff outside the church… not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. So I thank you all for that.”
Together before the crowd, Keedra and Damien dug their golden shovels into the ground, marking the official groundbreaking of their new home.
“This is hard-earned on Keedra’s part,” Robinson said. “She’s put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity with us. I’m sure she’s going to be on site and maybe recruiting some of you all to come out on site as we build on this.”
Keedra expressed her gratitude to Habitat for giving her the opportunity to live out her lifelong dream.
“I’m so grateful to Habitat for working with me to be able to build my first home,” she said excitedly. “Being a homeowner was so important for me, it’s something that I wanted to do for years, but the market has been tough. So I’m just grateful that they gave me the opportunity.”
She said Damien is especially excited for his new home. Thanks to the site’s convenient location, he is able to remain in the same school district with his friends.
Hanover and King William Habitat continue to work diligently to provide affordable housing to qualified applicants. Applications are open until the end of the month for two available lots located in King William and Ashland.
For more information on how to apply to be a homeowner or other services that Habitat provides, including the critical repairs program, visit the website: https://www.hkwhabitat.org/.