While the skies were overcast, spirits were high as friends and family, volunteers, and supporters came together on Clay Street in Easton to celebrate Ashlie Elliott’s successful passage to homeownership and the dedication of Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s 48th home. The Reverend Keith Cornish, a Habitat Choptank board member, offered the morning’s invocation and led the audience in the special Prayer of Dedication. Nancy Andrew, deputy director for the organization, presented the family with a Bible, and Susan Leight came forward to offer a welcome basket which was assembled by the children and families of Christ Church Easton Day School.
“Ashlie worked very hard to get to this point,” said Caroline George, Elliott’s Habitat sponsor, as she introduced the Elliott family to the audience. “She has a beautiful new home, and she should be so proud of what she has accomplished.”
In the process to becoming a homeowner, every Habitat partner family is paired with a volunteer sponsor. The families are required to complete 300-400 hours of sweat equity, attend life skills seminars, and save money for costs at settlement.
A highlight of the brief ceremony was the presentation of keys to the Elliott family by Habitat Choptank construction supervisor Steve Thomas. Acknowledging the many people who helped with and contributed to the construction of the new home and helped Elliott achieve home ownership, Thomas quoted Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton saying, “high expectations are the key to everything.”
After receiving the keys to her new home, Elliott thanked those in attendance for their work and support. “There are not enough words to express how thankful I am,” said Elliott “If you hammered even just one nail thank you. I’m grateful to my family for their support, and to my Habitat family, I will never forget you.”
Elliott’s home is part of Habitat Choptank’s Milestone on Clay development. Milestone on Clay is a non-profit joint venture between Habitat for Humanity Choptank and Elm Street Development, a for-profit developer, and the first of its kind on the Eastern Shore. When completed, the site will hold 10 duplex units. Six units will be Habitat homes sold to qualifying low income Talbot County residents. The other four, of which the second is nearing completion, will be allotted, through the Easton Workforce Housing Lottery, to qualifying moderate income residents.
The project began with the removal of eight substandard rental units on the property. The replacement duplexes being constructed on the site were carefully designed to fit the character of the neighborhood. Design service was generously donated by local architect Lauren Dianich of Atelier 11.
As a mixed-income project within walking distance of schools, the public library, churches, and the downtown shopping district, Milestone on Clay will provide ten working families with the opportunity to invest in the community where they work.
Habitat for Humanity of Choptank is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in Dorchester and Talbot counties. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has worked in partnership with volunteers, churches, community organizations, businesses, and its future homeowners to help 48 local working families achieve homeownership.
Each Habitat home is the result of a community effort made possible by hundreds of supporters, volunteers, and the partner family/future homeowner. Through these combined efforts, Habitat is able to construct simple, decent affordable homes that can be sold at cost with a no interest mortgage to working families.
To learn more about Habitat, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-820-6186.