The sod has been turned on a new Habitat for Humanity house build in Yorkton, the eighth for the organization.
The house will be home to Maranda Belcourt and her daughters, Anyka, Genesis, Aneesa and Aleesa.
“Receiving this opportunity is an absolute blessing,” Belcourt said at the sod turning Thursday morning.
Belcourt said Yorkton has long been the community she loves, then added “having this house here is conformation that my family now has roots here.
“This is an incredible opportunity that will make a difference in our family’s lives.”
Later Belcourt would tell Yorkton This Week that when she received the call she would be getting a new home “it was overwhelming. I had no idea I was going to be selected. It was instant joy.”
Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney noted the home project “is really a helping hand,” provided to the family.
In that regard Yorkton Council has been supportive of Habitat for Humanity initiatives, said Maloney.
“Our Council has always been supportive of it and I’d like to think always will be supportive,” he said.
It’s a case where having proper housing goes a long way to helping families themselves be stable, said Maloney.
The house, said Belcourt will now be a home for the family “for 20, 30, 40 years.”
This will be Habitat for Humanity’s eighth home in Yorkton. Once complete, the home will be approximately 1000 square feet raised bungalow, with four bedrooms and a finished basement.
Construction of this home is made possible by generous donors and supporters, including the Mosaic Company, RH Electric, and the generous in-kind and financial contributions from the individuals and businesses in the community of Yorkton.
The lot where the house is being built is double wide, and will be the spot for the ninth Yorkton build, although no date for its start-up has been set.
Habitat Yorkton has received $65,000 in funding from the Federal and Provincial Governments through the Saskatchewan Priorities (SP) component of the federal/provincial CMHC-Saskatchewan Bi-Lateral Agreement under the 2017 National Housing Strategy (NHS).
Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit said the funding is part of a commitment which has seen provincial dollars go to Habitat for Humanity projects in 14 communities.
The money is part of a collaborative effort between the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan and Habitat for Humanity to provide safe and affordable housing.
The Province’s overall commitment to Habitat for Humanity totals $11.8 million since March 2009, said Ottebreit Thursday.
The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its NHS, an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
“Our government is pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity on another build in Yorkton,” Ottenbreit said in a release. “Not only are we building a stronger community, we are also helping a Saskatchewan family put down roots in a safe, quality and affordable home. We are honoured to work with the Government of Canada and Habitat for Humanity as to support people in greatest housing need.”
The home is also possible due to the generous support from the community in both in-kind and cash donations. These donations have come through individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising events, including the Annual Colour Fun Run. Over $20,000 has been raised over the past two years, with the next event scheduled for Sept. 29 locally.
Habitat Yorkton also has built a unique partnership with the Ministry of Policing and Corrections, where trainees from the Whitespruce Provincial Training Centre will play an integral role in the construction of Maranda’s home. Trainees will learn employable skills while giving back to the community.
“The Ministry of Corrections and Policing is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build this home f or a family in Yorkton,” said Minister of Corrections and Policing Christine Tell in a release. “Building this home will also provide real life vocational training and employment opportunities to offenders, which is a major factor in reducing recidivism. This project is a great example of what partnerships can achieve to help many people in our community.
Habitat for Humanity Yorkton operates as a Chapter under the umbrella of Habitat for Humanity Regina. Habitat Yorkton has an active volunteer bard that has served seven families with safe, decent and affordable housing.