As Seneca Habitat for Humanity marks its 25th anniversary, two partner families spoke about what it has meant to them to have their own homes. Both expressed appreciation.
Ruth Metcalf and her husband, Robert, are to celebrate 17 years as Seneca Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Ruth now volunteers for Habitat as the coordinator of the lunches for Saturday work crews. Although Robert might not be able to attend the Habitat Gala on Friday, Ruth plans to be there.
"We were very grateful for the chance to have a Habitat home. We could not afford a home if we went through a bank," Ruth Metcalf said. "They let us choose the colors of our counters and the cabinets. They asked us about the layout, and I told them what I'd like to have."
With Ruth receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits and Robert working part-time in the kitchen of a local restaurant, the Metcalfs have managed to maintain their three-bedroom home. The Metcalfs said working with Habitat has put them in contact with "wonderful" people, including a volunteer couple who purchased Ruth's gala ticket. In addition, two other volunteers, Glenn Ritzenthaler and his daughter Lynn Cartwright, are giving Metcalf a ride to the benefit.
One of the most recent homeowners is Jean Eingle, along with her son, Logan. Her home at the corner of Third Avenue and Vine Street was dedicated last October. She enjoyed selecting the the colors and materials and being included in the construction process to contribute her "sweat equity." She said the crew took pride in their work, and the Sentinel Career and Technology Center students tolerated her questions and constant presence to point out where she wanted electrical outlets and such.
"There is a lot to go into a house. It's just not a building. These guys put everything into it - not just their time or their energy - they put love into it, too," Eingle said. "I love 'em all. I'm still in contact with them."
Her hands have done work in every room. Lately, she has been busy making it "more mine" with landscaping, installing shelves in the storage shed and constructing a fence for her dog. The home's energy saving features also have been a bonus. Eingle said even in the coldest months, her all-electric home stayed comfortable with the highest bill about $160. That was in contrast to some $300 electric bills at her former residence.
"It's a comfortable place to come home to. I just enjoy being here," Eingle said. "It means everything to us ... Every time I walk in the house, I still can't believe it is mine."