The past 29 springs brought warmer temperatures, beautiful flowers and … a Catch the Building Spirit (CtBS) new home build in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton.
CtBS, a group of dedicated Catholic and Presbyterian churches in Montgomery County, built 30 homes in those last 29 years. But last fall, the nonprofit announced that it could no longer continue its annual large-scale community service project. It could have been a great loss for the community and its underserved families. However, the spirit of teamwork between the group and Dayton Habitat is as strong as ever.
Discussions over the winter led to a decision to continue CtBS’s annual mission under our Habitat Faith Family Faith Build program. On May 28th, a kickoff celebration was held in West Carrollton for the first combined project under the Faith Build umbrella.
“I love this group,” said Dayton Habitat Executive Director Norm Miozzi. “Everybody here is so familiar and passionate. CtBS has handed the gavel over to our Faith Build program, and we will do all that we can to keep their legacy alive.”
The effort is certainly needed. Norm shared that in Dayton alone, it is estimated that there is a shortage of 4,600 affordable housing units and that the rental market is 99 percent saturated. That makes it even harder for underserved families to access affordable housing.
“There’s nowhere for folks like these to go,” he said. “If we don’t do this, then who will?”
Roger Duffy, former long-time CtBS co-chairman, was on hand for the ceremony. He was asked if he thought the transition was going well so far.
“I think so,” Roger said. “There’s enough groups and churches that will help. If you spread the net wide enough, you can get enough volunteers.
“It is fun to see it continue,” he continued. “You still have to go out and ask people to help and let them know what you need. But it’s nice not to feel the pressure (of running a building project from start to finish). “
Soon-to-be homeowners Daniel and Primitive and their family are thankful that many from the CtBs group are remaining on mission, partly because they have been waiting a long time to get their house.
“We were ready to receive a house and then COVID came, and we had to wait two more years,” Daniel said. “It was frustrating for not just us, but for all the Habitat people.”
They were able to choose their home site last year. This let them know that their stalled dream was on the move toward reality once again: “It made it feel more real,” he said.
What are they feeling now that construction has started?
“Excitement and expectations,” said Daniel. “This will make our lives much better. He added that he expected it to mean a lot for his kids, like a safer neighborhood and a better education.
“Thank you to God, thank you to the group, thank you to everyone here,” Daniel said.
Added Primitive: “We hope God will give us peace in this new building.”
Ken Enneking, another former long-time CtBS leader, felt equally grateful to still be able to serve in this capacity.
“Our mission was always to help supply housing to low-income families,” he said. “But the need is still there. So, we will do everything we can individually to continue to do that.”
Roger quoted Psalm 127:1 during the ceremony: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”
“This is all the effects of God’s presence,” Roger said. “It is a great honor to be a part of it.”
If you’d like to help with this Faith Build, either through volunteering onsite or with a donation, give us a call at (937) 586-0860. For more information on the program, visit the Faith Family page at daytonhabitat.org.