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Richard, a single father of two girls, is finally obtaining a dream come true – a house for his family to call home.
courtesy photo.

Dedication for Sturgis Habitat home held Friday

STURGIS, S.D. – It was a day to remember for a single father who is moving into a new home off Nellie Street in Sturgis.

Richard, a single father of two girls, is finally obtaining a dream come true – a house for his family to call home.

Richard has worked as a cook for many years, while juggling single parenting duties. After he applied and was approved to purchase a new home through Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity, he saved money, invested his required 250 hours of sweat equity working on his and other partner families’ homes, and attended the required classes in home maintenance and finance. Richard continues to volunteer for Habitat even though he has completed his required hours for his home in Sturgis.

On Friday afternoon, a home dedication celebration was held at Richard’s home at 1107 Nellie Street.

Richard works early every day serving breakfast to the workforce of Lead, and now with his own home in Sturgis, he will be able to increase his economic stability and invest back into the region.

“I am so thankful and grateful that this program exists. It gives people a lot of hope,” Richard said, “as my life progresses, and my girls grow up, I’d still donate my time because home ownership puts your life on a whole new avenue. You’re putting down roots. If you’re renting, you’re stretching out branches, but you have no roots. You can never reach such a level unless you have a home of your own.”

To qualify for the Habitat homeowner program, Richard proved that he had a need for housing. He proved he met the income eligibility for an affordable home loan with Habitat and USDA. He was willing to put in the 250 hours of sweat equity, contributing to the construction of his home as well as the homes of other Habitat Partner Families. And he was willing to participate in the required educational programs on financial management and home maintenance.

Funding for Richard’s home came from the Hilton Family, Sturgis Rally Charities, United Way of the Black Hills, and the City of Sturgis provided Tax Incremental Financing to assist in covering the cost of updating old city infrastructure. Many citizens of Sturgis and surrounding area were avid supporters, volunteers, and donors to the construction of Richard’s home. The home will be financed through USDA Rural Development.

In addition to these supporting organizations, Habitat relies on individual donors along with faith communities, foundations, and corporations who each provide layers of financial support that ensure homes are affordable for every future homeowner. The gap between what homes cost, their market value, and what many people can afford is only growing, and Habitat needs more partnerships to expand and assist increasing numbers of people in need of affordable homeownership.

“Today is a victory for an exceptional person. Richard has modeled optimism, hard work and has gone the extra mile to meet and exceed all of the Habitat expectations to become a partner family. Since our founding in 1990, more than 650 people like Richard have been strengthened through affordable homeownership and critical home repairs through Black Hills region,” said Scott Engmann, Black Hills Area Habitat Executive Director. “A decent home gives families the strength, stability, and independence they want to create a better life for themselves and their families. This strengthens the entire community.”

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