Two Regina Families Receive Keys to Their New Habitat Saskatchewan Homes

On June 20th, 2024, Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan celebrated a heartwarming milestone with the Key Ceremony for their newest builds in Regina. The event marked the official handover of keys to two deserving families, Salim & Sanjida and Abdihakin & Fartun, who have worked tirelessly to achieve their dream of homeownership.

Building Dreams from the Ground Up

The journey to this joyous occasion began in November 2023 when construction of the homes started. Over the months, both families dedicated themselves to completing the required 500 volunteer hours within the community, showcasing their commitment and hard work. Now, as they prepare to move into their new homes next week, their dreams of stability and independence are becoming a reality.

Salim, one of the new homeowners, shared his heartfelt gratitude:

“Initially we didn’t think that this housing opportunity with Habitat for Humanity was within our reach. Yet we took a leap of faith, gathered all the necessary information, and decided to apply. When Habitat agreed to partner with our family, it was one of the most exciting and uplifting moments of our lives. Habitat has given us this precious gift, and words cannot express how grateful we are.”

This achievement is particularly significant as it marks the first new builds completed since the Haultain Crossing project in 2022. Kelsey Stewart, Interim Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, highlighted the broader impact of this accomplishment: “This occasion marks a significant achievement for our organization and highlights the dedication and hard work of everyone involved. Homeownership is not just about having a place to live; it’s about creating a stable foundation for families to thrive and grow. We are honored to support these families in turning their dreams into reality as we hand over the keys for them to officially become homeowners.”

The construction project was spearheaded by Fiorante Homes, with kitchen renovations completed by Collaborative Construction, and concrete donated by WF Botkin. Each home features 1,224 square feet across two stories plus a basement, including three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a laundry room. This project was made possible through the generous contributions of the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and The City of Regina.

A Day of Celebration for Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan

The Key Ceremony was a well-attended event, with speeches from the new homeowners, Habitat Saskatchewan’s Interim Executive Director, Kelsey Stewart, and Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and MLA for Regina Gardiner Park. The event concluded with opportunities for interviews, questions, and photos, capturing the joy and excitement of this significant milestone.

Welcoming in Two New Habitat Homeowners

On May 30th, 2024, Habitat Saskatchewan proudly handed over the keys to two new Habitat homeowners. The families are moving into previously built Habitat houses in Regina’s Rosemont and Eastview neighborhoods, marking a significant milestone in their journey toward homeownership.

Expanding Opportunities with the Buy Back Program

While Habitat Saskatchewan is known for building new homes, the organization also operates a “Buy Back Program.” This initiative grants Habitat the first right of refusal to buy back homes from previous Habitat homeowners looking to sell and move on from the program. This  approach allows Habitat to serve more families throughout the year, extending their mission beyond the construction of new houses.

Meet the New Homeowners

Fasiuddin & Shameem and Eyasu & Msgana are the newest Habitat homeowners. This opportunity for affordable homeownership not only promotes financial stability but also strengthens community bonds and empowers families with a sense of security, autonomy, and achievement.

For Eyasu and Msgana, the move represents a significant improvement in their living conditions. Their previous apartment, located in a challenging downtown area, did not provide a safe and secure environment for their young family. Eyasu shared his thoughts on this life-changing opportunity: “I work full time, and my wife is a stay-at-home mom to care for our kids. Partnering with Habitat Saskatchewan gives us hope and the encouragement to continue working hard to afford our own home. Homeownership is a relief because it means providing our family with a safe and secure place to live.”

The Journey Continues

The handover of keys to Fasiuddin & Shameem and Eyasu & Msgana is a testament to Habitat Saskatchewan’s commitment to transforming lives through homeownership. By leveraging the Buy Back Program, the organization continues to make a difference, providing families with the stability and security they need to thrive.

As these families settle into their new homes in the Rosemont and Eastview neighborhoods, they are not just moving into a house; they are stepping into a future filled with promise and potential. Habitat Saskatchewan remains dedicated to creating these opportunities, one family at a time, building a stronger, more resilient community for all.

Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan is delighted to announce its return to building homes in Regina, marking a significant milestone with the groundbreaking for our first basement dug since the onset of the pandemic. Following the completion of our most recent builds at Haultain Crossing in spring 2022, this year signifies a renewed commitment to constructing homes and positively impacting lives within the community.

Working Together for Faster Impact

 

To expedite the building process and help more families, we are working with Fiorante Homes, a trusted local contractor. This collaboration will result in the construction of two homes in Regina this year, representing a significant milestone for the organization.

Partnering with Fiorante Homes accelerates our ability to make a meaningful impact and fulfill our mission.

Volunteer Opportunities at ReStores

Due to the nature of this contracted build, volunteer opportunities directly on the build site will be temporarily suspended. However, volunteer opportunities remain available at our ReStore location. Volunteering at ReStores provide an alternative way for community members to contribute to our mission and initiatives. To learn more about how to volunteer at ReStores – click here!

Support Our Cause

As we embark on this journey to build homes and hope in Regina, we invite you to be a part of the change. Your support matters. Visit our donation page to contribute and help us continue making a positive impact on the lives of families in need.

We are more determined than ever to build a better future, one home at a time. Thank you for joining us in this important mission!

We’re thrilled to share some exciting news: SaskTel recently showcased Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan on their MaxTV channel! This incredible feature provides a unique window into the heart of our organization, showcasing our mission and the work we do within our community.

Meet the Faces of Habitat: Gail, Brett, and Dessie

In this special feature, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from some of the key individuals who drive our mission forward:

Gail: Board Chair

Gail, our dedicated Board Chair, offers valuable insights into the core values that drive Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan. Her unwavering commitment to our cause is truly inspiring!

Brett: Regina ReStore Manager

Brett, the passionate manager of our Regina ReStore, plays a vital role in our operations. He shares his experiences, shedding light on the impact our ReStore has in supporting our mission.

Dessie: Homeowner 

Dessie, one of our amazing homeowners, shares his heartwarming journey with us. His story exemplifies the transformative power of a safe and stable home.

Discover More

Watch the full video below:

 

Get Involved

As always, your support is instrumental in our mission to provide safe and stable homes for families in need. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our upcoming projects, please don’t hesitate to reach out. To support our cause, donate here or learn more about our volunteering opportunities here

A Brighter Future, One Home at a Time

We extend our deepest gratitude to SaskTel for providing us with this platform and to all of you, our dedicated supporters, for making our work possible. Together, we are building a brighter future for families across Saskatchewan.

Chelsey and Owen’s story is a testament to the power of having a place to call home. Becoming Habitat homeowners has been nothing short of a dream come true for them, akin to winning a life-changing lottery. “My father still lives in the same home that I grew up in. There are so many memories. Knowing that you can come back to the home you grew up in, for holidays and family dinners – there’s comfort in that. And that’s what I want for my family,” shares Chelsey, her voice resonating with a sense of hope and determination.

Their journey is one of blending families and aspirations. With five children, creating a harmonious home was a challenge, given their initial limited space. However, when their eldest daughter, Bailey, left for college, the opportunity arose for them to finally live together under one roof. Yet, the reality of sharing a confined space with four growing boys, aged 10, 14, 14, and 17, presented its own challenges. Finding a larger, affordable apartment proved elusive in their search.

“It’s been a struggle. We live in a rental and while it’s not the worst of neighborhoods, it’s not the best either. There’s limited housing in our area and we just couldn’t come up with a down payment to buy a home,” Chelsey candidly admits.

Years ago, a glimmer of hope emerged when a college classmate shared information about Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. Back then, Chelsey, a single parent, applied but faced income constraints that didn’t meet the qualifications. Fate had different plans, and two years later, Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & The Counties reached out to Chelsey and Owen. This time, with their combined efforts, they were accepted into the program.

Their future home’s location holds a deep significance. The land, donated by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, holds ancestral connections for Owen, a member of the Band. Situated across from Pilon Island, where Owen’s grandfather once resided, the land echoes with cherished memories. It was the very spot where Owen’s grandfather used to pick him up before embarking on canoe journeys to spend time together. This land, infused with heritage and history, was the meeting ground for generations. In a touching ceremony attended by Mohawk Grand Chief Abram Benedict, the family broke ground on their new home last October.

Despite the pandemic causing delays, Chelsey and Owen’s family is on the cusp of completing their 500 mandatory volunteer hours. Their commitment to Habitat’s cause led them to volunteering at the Habitat ReStore and participating in various fundraisers. Owen, a skilled carpenter, crafted over 50 birdhouses and feeders during the summer of 2020, which the family then painted and donated to the local Habitat ReStore for sale. As construction finally begins, they eagerly await their chance to contribute on the build site.

For Chelsey, homeownership embodies safety, security, and the promise of a better future for her children. It’s about anchoring her family in a forever home where memories will flourish. The anticipation of extra space, privacy, and the ability to create a vibrant garden fuels their excitement. Their new dwelling will be a sanctuary for family gatherings, a place for extended family to congregate during holidays and dinners. Importantly, it will be a launchpad for their children’s dreams and aspirations.

“Homeownership gives us stability. I want my kids to get a good education. To do well and succeed. That’s my dream,” Chelsey expresses, encapsulating the essence of their journey – a dream of stability, growth, and creating a legacy of hope for generations to come.Our goal at Habitat Saskatchewan is to continue to help families like Chelsey and Owen’s for years to come, and in order to do that, we rely on donors to help support our mission. If you’d like to contribute and make a difference, please visit our donation page.

At Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, our commitment to empowering families extends beyond building homes – it encompasses providing the knowledge and tools necessary for successful homeownership. Our Family Services Department partners with families to guide them through the journey of homeownership, and a crucial aspect of this journey is our comprehensive Homeownership Education program. 

Building a Strong Foundation: Homeownership Education

Once a family partners with us, they embark on a transformative journey towards homeownership. A cornerstone of this journey is our mandatory online Homeownership Education classes. These classes are designed to equip families with the essential knowledge and skills required to not only obtain their own homes but also to thrive in their new roles as homeowners.

The Integral Role of Education

Our Homeownership Education classes are not just a requirement; they are a fundamental part of our program. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that families are well-prepared for the responsibilities and opportunities that come with owning a home. We believe that a solid foundation of knowledge enhances families’ confidence and success in their homeownership journey.

A Holistic Curriculum

The curriculum of our Homeownership Education program covers a diverse range of topics that are crucial for successful homeownership. Some of the subjects include:

Understanding Mortgages: Familiarizing families with the intricacies of mortgages, empowering them to make informed financial decisions.

Tax Considerations: Providing insights into tax implications and obligations related to homeownership.

Home Insurance: Educating families about the importance of home insurance and how to choose the right coverage.

Financial Obligations and Budgeting: Equipping families with budgeting skills to manage homeownership expenses effectively.

Credit Education: Offering guidance on building and maintaining good credit, which is essential for financial stability.

Home Maintenance and New Home Warranty: Empowering families to take care of their homes goes beyond ensuring longevity and comfort. We understand the significance of long-lasting investments, and that’s why we also provide families with valuable insights into the New Home Warranty Program. This program outlines details around the 1-year, 2-year, and 10-year plans families buy into when moving into their new home.

Safety Measures: Educating families on home safety practices to create a secure living environment.

Supporting Families on Their Journey

Our goal is not just to provide homes; it’s to ensure that families succeed in their homeownership journey. To support this goal, we provide volunteer hours to families for their attendance and performance in the Homeownership Education classes. We understand that informed families are better equipped to make the most of their homeownership experience.

Fostering Success and Stability

The Homeownership Education program reflects our commitment to creating lasting change in the lives of our partner families. By arming families with knowledge, we empower them to make informed decisions, achieve financial stability, and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

Affordable housing isn’t just a roof over one’s head; it’s the foundation upon which brighter futures are built. At Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, we’re committed to addressing the critical need for housing in our communities and empowering low-income families to break the cycle of instability. Let’s delve into the vital importance of housing for these families and explore the positive impact it has on their lives!

A Home’s Transformative Power

The significance of safe, affordable housing goes far beyond basic shelter. It serves as a springboard for positive change and opportunities for families who might otherwise struggle to secure stable living conditions. A home offers stability, security, and a sense of belonging that can transform lives in numerous ways:

  • Education Excellence: When families have a stable place to call home, children’s school performance improves significantly. With a consistent environment, kids can focus on their studies, leading to increased school grades and a brighter future.
  • Positive Behavior Changes: A secure home environment contributes to improved behavior among children. When they have a space to thrive and grow, their overall well-being is positively impacted.
  • Skills and Career Advancement: Stable housing allows parents to focus on their personal growth and development. With secure housing, adults can dedicate time to education and skills training, leading to better job prospects and higher income.
  • Breaking Dependence on Assistance: Affordable housing helps families move away from relying on social assistance and community services. This shift not only empowers individuals but also lessens the burden on public resources.
  • Community Strength: Strong communities are built on the foundation of stable homes. Affordable housing fosters a sense of community, creating connections and collaboration among neighbours.

Habitat Saskatchewan’s Mission: Creating Lasting Change

At Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, we’re on a mission to address the affordable housing crisis and create sustainable solutions. Through our homeownership program, we enable low-income families to purchase homes at fair-market value, with a mortgage set at just 25% of their gross annual income. This model promotes financial stability and breaks down barriers to homeownership, fostering a brighter future for families and the entire community.

Transforming Lives, One Home at a Time

The importance of housing for low-income families extends beyond statistics – it’s about transforming lives and creating lasting change. With each home we build, we’re not just constructing walls, but opportunities and dreams. We’re providing a safe haven where families can flourish, children can thrive, and communities can grow stronger together. Join us in our journey to build hope, stability, and brighter futures for all.

Kelsey Stewart, our Director of Fund Development and Marketing at Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, embodies an unparalleled commitment to the non-profit landscape. Armed with a comprehensive education in Marketing and Economics from the University of Regina, Kelsey’s professional journey has evolved over a decade of steadfast dedication.

With a history deeply intertwined with Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, Kelsey’s initial role as Volunteer Coordinator back in 2013 laid the groundwork for her enduring passion for community engagement and the non-profit sector. Now, as she rejoins our team, her extensive experience will elevate our marketing and fundraising endeavours to unprecedented heights.

A pivotal juncture in Kelsey’s career was her distinction as the youngest international team leader for Habitat Canada’s Global Village Program. Through eight transformative ventures to Central America, she guided teams in constructing homes and fostering community bonds.

Kelsey’s legacy reverberates through her orchestration of fundraising events, innovative marketing campaigns, and imaginative fundraising initiatives. Her strategic prowess, complemented by her partnership-building skills, positions her at the forefront of leading positive change.

With Kelsey’s return, we are excited to witness the next chapter of transformative change at Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan and to welcome her back to our family. Her dedication, coupled with her visionary leadership, ensures that our organization will continue to make a meaningful impact, one home, one partnership, and one life at a time.

Every year, on National Nonprofit Day, we come together to recognize and celebrate the profound impact that nonprofit organizations have on our communities. It’s a day dedicated to honoring the selfless efforts of individuals and groups who work tirelessly to create positive change in the world. Let’s delve into the significance of National Nonprofit Day, shed light on the essential role of nonprofit organizations, particularly Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, and explore ways you can support our mission.

Understanding National Nonprofit Day

National Nonprofit Day is a day of gratitude and reflection, a day to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable contributions of nonprofit organizations. It serves as a reminder that these organizations play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges, improving lives, and fostering a sense of unity within communities. This day highlights the collective power of individuals and groups coming together to create positive change and make a lasting impact.

Unveiling the Role of Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are driven by a passion for social and environmental change. They operate with a mission to address specific issues, uplift underserved communities, and make a positive difference. These organizations operate under the principle that profits are reinvested into their causes, rather than being distributed to shareholders. Nonprofits encompass a diverse range of fields, from education and healthcare to social services and environmental conservation.

Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan: Building Homes, Transforming Lives

Among the myriad of nonprofit organizations, Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan stands out for its profound dedication to providing safe and affordable housing. We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to call home, and we work tirelessly to make this a reality. What sets us apart is our unique Homeownership Program, which empowers families by offering them a hand up, not a handout. 

At the core of our mission, Habitat for Humanity ReStores hold an extraordinary role in crafting homes and reshaping lives. With three ReStores across the province, we redefine the charitable landscape by offering a mix of gently used and new goods at a fraction of the price. What truly sets this initiative apart is its profound impact – each purchase you make at our ReStores flows into a ripple effect, helping with the construction of homes for deserving families and fortifying our vital operations. 

This exceptional synergy between our ReStores and Homeownership Programs redefines the concept of giving, as you shop sustainably and purposefully, actively contributing to the transformation of communities and the realization of dreams. Through collaborative efforts, volunteers, and community partners, we create a pathway for families to achieve homeownership and break the cycle of poverty.

Making a Difference, One Home at a Time

Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan is not just about constructing houses; it’s about building stronger communities. Our focus on affordable homeownership goes beyond bricks and mortar—it creates a ripple effect of positive change. Families who partner with us experience improved well-being, stability, and self-reliance. By providing a foundation for families to thrive, we contribute to the overall betterment of our society.

Supporting Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan: How You Can Make a Difference

Your support is integral to our mission of creating affordable housing opportunities. Here are a few ways you can contribute:

  • Volunteer: Join our dedicated team of volunteers and actively participate in building homes and transforming lives. Explore opportunities at our ReStores in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert, where you can give back, learn new skills, and make a lasting impact. Your commitment, whether a few hours or a full day, is a crucial step toward brighter futures for families in need. Learn more about volunteering on our website.
  • Donate: Your financial support helps us secure materials, resources, and funding needed to build homes.
  • Spread Awareness: Share our mission with your friends, family, and social networks to raise awareness about the importance of affordable housing.

Celebrating the Power of Collaboration 

As National Nonprofit Day draws our attention to the vital role of organizations dedicated to positive change, we encourage you to join us in honoring their collective efforts. Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan’s commitment to affordable housing exemplifies the spirit of nonprofit work in action. By engaging with our mission, you become an essential partner in the journey toward a world where secure and comfortable homes are within reach for all. Together, we lay the foundation for a brighter future, one home at a time.

If you’ve ever wondered about a unique and impactful way to support Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan, here’s an option that might surprise you – you can donate your car! That’s right, your old car, truck, RV, boat, or motorcycle can find new purpose and make a difference in the lives of families in need through our partnership with Donate A Car Canada.

Turning Your Wheels into Homes

At Habitat Saskatchewan, we believe that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home. Our mission is to empower working, lower-income families by providing them with affordable homeownership opportunities, and we’re always exploring innovative ways to achieve this goal. Vehicle donation is one such avenue, and it’s a win-win situation for both you and the families we serve.

How Does It Work?

Donating your vehicle through Donate A Car Canada is hassle-free and incredibly rewarding. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the Donate A Car Canada Website: Start by visiting the Donate A Car Canada website (www.donatecar.ca), where you can choose Habitat Saskatchewan as the charity you wish to support.
  • Vehicle Information: Provide details about your vehicle, such as its make, model, year, and condition. Whether your vehicle is in tip-top shape or has seen better days, there’s still value in it.
  • Choose Towing or Drop-Off: Depending on your location, Donate A Car Canada offers free towing for most areas across Canada. Alternatively, you can choose to drop off your vehicle, ensuring that your donation goes even further.
  • Recycling or Auction: Once we receive your donated vehicle, Donate A Car Canada will determine whether it can be recycled or sold at auction. This decision is based on factors like the vehicle’s condition, age, and location.
  • Tax Receipt and Impact: After the process is complete, we will send you a tax receipt for your generous donation. Your gift will contribute directly to our efforts to provide safe and affordable housing to families in Saskatchewan.

Why Donate Your Vehicle?

Donating your vehicle is a meaningful way to support our mission while also enjoying some benefits:

  • Community Support: Your donation contributes to building stronger communities and providing homes for families in need.
  • Simplicity: Donate A Car Canada handles all the details, making the donation process smooth and straightforward.
  • Environmental Impact: Recycling vehicles helps reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.
  • Tax Deduction: You’ll receive a tax receipt for your donation, which can lead to valuable tax deductions.

Join Us in Creating Change

By donating your car, truck, RV, boat, or motorcycle, you’re joining us in creating lasting change in the lives of families across Saskatchewan. Every donation helps us build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. Together, we’re driving positive change and building stronger communities, one vehicle at a time.