A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Habitat for Humanity dedicated two new homes Sunday for homebuyers, Ayala and Screetch families

Lexington Habitat for Humanity celebrated the new home dedication for two new homebuyers Sunday.

The first dedication at 2 p.m. was for homebuyer Rafael Ayala and his three children, toddler Alexa, Vanessa (10) and Rafael (17) at 1936 Millbank Road in the Brookfield Chase Subdivision just off of Russell Cave Road.

Rafael has lived in Florida, New York and Mexico, but readily admits Lexington is his favorite. It is also where his strong work ethic will pay off and he is excited to provide a home for his family. He takes pride in the fact that he has worked hard his entire life to provide for his family — working as a mechanic, on horse farms and in warehouses. When a friend told him about the opportunity for homeownership through Lexington Habitat for Humanity, he knew he would work hard for that too.

Homeownership will make a huge impact on the family’s quality of life and financial security. With their Habitat home, they will no longer have to pay a high monthly rate to rent a place where windows let in cold air, water leaks in the bathroom and mice sneak in from under their ill-fitting door. In addition to the improved living conditions that will come with their Habitat home, Rafael says he also looks forward to his children not having to “jump from place to place” anymore.

Rafael Ayala and family

Rafael truly can’t wait to take care of his own home, be a good neighbor and work toward his next goal of opening up his own mechanic shop! He says having a safe, stable home where his family can be happy and play soccer together “means a lot to me and my children.”

Pike Family & Friends, BACK Construction, UPS, Transylvania University Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, Denham-Blythe & the Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Endowment Fund have been loyal supporters of the Lexington Habitat mission. The organizations joined hands to sponsor the home for Rafael’s family, continuing their commitment to ensure more families in Lexington have a safe, affordable place to live.

“Rafael’s love for his children is obvious to anyone who sees them together. He has worked hard to achieve his dream of providing them a place where they can play freely and grow up in a stable environment,” said Rachel Childress, Lexington Habitat CEO. “His commitment has made it happen, but it would not have been possible without these long-term, faithful sponsors. We are so grateful there are organizations in our community who live out their love of neighbors.”

The second dedication at 4 p.m. was for Antoinette Screetch and her four children at 1923 Russell Cave Road in the Brookfield Chase Subdivision just off of Russell Cave Road.

Antoinette, a Lexington native, is a full-time home healthcare worker and student. She is thrilled for the sense of pride and stability that homeownership will provide. As a renter, most of Antoinette’s income every month goes toward paying to live in a place that doesn’t meet her family’s basic needs. It’s a daily struggle for her to climb three flights of stairs with small children in order to get to their overcrowded apartment where they must share sleeping space. When friends told her about Lexington Habitat for Humanity, she knew immediately that it could be a difference maker for her family.

Antoinette Screetch

To Antoinette, owning her Habitat home means “being one step closer to becoming self- sufficient and proving that I CAN overcome my past” and it means that her children Zacchaeus (4), Zachariah (4), Amariel (15) and Ramez (19) will “have their own rooms, a yard to play in and
not have to move all the time.” The first thing that she says she will do after moving into her new home is thank God for the blessing.”

Big Blue Build, Smith and Nephew, PNC Bank, Schneider Electric & the Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Endowment Fund joined together to sponsor the home for Antoinette’s family, making a commitment to ensure another family in Lexington has a safe, affordable place to live.

“Antoinette has been a wonderful partner and has served as a shining example to everyone she meets. We are overjoyed to celebrate her home dedication with her. We are also incredibly grateful for the partnership and the many generous sponsors who have stretched out their arms and opened their hearts so this Antoinette and her family can finally have the strength, stability and self-reliance that shelter provides. Sunday will be a great day!” said Childress.

Lexington Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Lexington Habitat also advocates for improved access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow.

Since 1986, Lexington Habitat has served nearly 450 families through homeownership, over 325 families with our tithe and more than 1,000 families through Love Your Neighborhood. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit lexhabitat.org, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

LEXINGTON HOMEOWNER STUDY OUTCOMES

98.4% of homeowners are proud of their home.

80% say Habitat classes prepared them for homeownership.
87% reported learning a lot from their sweat equity.

41% have been working at the same job for 5+ years.

96% reported their children are happier.

90% say their children have a quiet space to do homework.
76% stated their children’s grades had improved.

84% reported their children’s school attendance had improved.
86% reported their children were healthier and sick less often.

From Lexington Habitat for Humanity

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