Dedication ceremony of the Habitat For Humanity project

By Ed Runyan


Among the many people made happy that the home at 212 Willard Ave. NE has new interior walls, floors, furnace, roof, cabinets, electrical and plumbing is the next-door neighbor, Elaine Sherbourne.

“We’ve been here 10 years. It’s 5,000 percent better,” she said of the house Thursday afternoon as a throng of people turned out for the dedication ceremony of the Habitat For Humanity project. Another partner is Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, which donated the house through the Trumbull County Land Bank.

Of course the new owners, Tanya and Timothy Jornigan, and their two children are happy, too, that they get a mostly new home for the cost of a zero percent loan.

Michael Ondrey, Habitat construction manager, explained that the organization’s motto is, “We’re a hand up, not a hand out” because the Jornigans will pay the appraised value of the home to the bank. But the zero percent loan makes the home affordable in situations where a home would not normally be affordable.

For construction volunteer Tanzia Turkali, the project represented an outlet for her desire to do something for the community while giving her more purpose in her life.

“Quite frankly, I was bored and I was lonely,” she said of her life before she started volunteering 41/2 years ago with Habitat.

In this project, she has been able to show others things she has learned – such as how to install windows – not only from working on homes with her father years ago, but also from Habitat projects.

“I’ve learned how this house is built from the footers up,” she said. On this project, she also served as paint coordinator for the more than 400 volunteers who worked on the project over the past year.

The materials used in the project were purchased with $60,000 provided by the city of Warren through two home-related grant programs.

David Redig, Habitat of the Mahoning Valley board member, said Habitat fills a need of “people in the Mahoning Valley who would love to have a home.”

The construction on this home took about twice as long as normal because the project could not be completed until the family who would live there was identified. Successful applicants must be low-income but able to pay the mortgage and other costs, Ondrey said.

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