Habitat MidOhio brings faith communities together as Christians, Muslims, and Jews join forces to build a home for a local family.
COLUMBUS, Ohio 12/15/16 – Habitat MidOhio is partnering with the Columbus Dispatch and central Ohio faith communities to launch the Build for Unity — bringing faiths together to build a home for a deserving family.
While initial construction has begun, the Build for Unity home will officially commence on Thursday, December 15 with a special ceremony and will be under construction through March 2017. Habitat MidOhio has already been joined by a broad spectrum of faith communities including the Bridge Community Center and Heritage Christian Church, the Noor Islamic Center, Vineyard Columbus, the Columbus Jewish Federation and Church of the Resurrection. The Build is also being supported by the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio and the Metropolitan Area Church Council. These groups have all joined this project because they have been driven by their faith perspectives to Build for Unity in central Ohio.
Reading the news, looking at social media or watching television, one cannot ignore the extreme levels of division in our society. E.J. Thomas, President & CEO of Habitat MidOhio spoke recently about the Build effort. “As an organization based on faith principals, Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio yearns for a world where respect for one another is the norm, not because we all subscribe to the same set of religious beliefs, but because of the very nature of who we are. Many people of faith are called upon to help the poor, serve others, and make the world a better place. Building a Habitat home as one united community of faith is a clear expression of unity for people of many diverse beliefs. Habitat MidOhio is proud to help facilitate this Build for Unity effort in the hopes that our communities and neighborhoods will learn from each other and perhaps even learn something more about ourselves.”
Habitat MidOhio’s newest partner family has been dreaming of owning their own home for years. Kanisha and her husband Bernard currently live in a three-bedroom apartment that has numerous health and safety issues such as a cracked and leaking basement, a kitchen sink that is falling apart, and numerous electrical and plumbing issues. They have been searching for a way to provide a safe home for themselves and their two sons, Michael (11) and Malik (3), and consider themselves “blessed” to have found the Habitat for Humanity program.
Kanisha works full-time in a nursing home as a housekeeping supervisor and her husband stays home with their youngest child. Both are ready to get their hands dirty and have already started on their sweat equity. The family enjoys spending time with each other, watching movies, and taking their kids to new places.
Kanisha and Bernard are very appreciative of all the work the staff and volunteers do at Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio. They are excited to work alongside everyone as they help build their home and are grateful for their time and dedication. When asked what they are looking forward to most after they receive their keys, Kanisha said, “Having space in our rooms, a dry closest for our clothes, and a home with no major worries. We are grateful and my family gives plenty of thanks from our hearts!”
Imran Malik, President, Noor Islamic Cultural Center
Pavi Thomas, Executive Director, The Bridge Community Center
Stephen Van Dop, Pastor, Vineyard Church of Columbus
Fr. Jim Csaszar, Priest, Church of the Resurrection
Bob Lane, Vice President, Jewish Community Relations, Columbus Jewish Federation