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Seneca Falls Habitat project complete, home dedicated

“Oooh! This house is cool!” exclaimed 8-year-old Robert Goodman to his twin brother, Ethan, as they entered his family’s new home at 2 Jay St. for the first time Saturday. Their sister, Chloe, 10, dashed to her room at the back of the four-bedroom home. “I’m going to paint it black with basketball stuff on the walls,” she declared as she looked around the sunny bedroom and inspected the spacious closet. Clutching one-year-old twin sons, Amber and Joshua Goodman walked into their home for the first time since the Whirlpool kitchen appliances were installed and volunteer George Nogle put the finishing touches on Habitat’s 12th build. Amber burst into tears. “”It is so overwhelming,” she said. “Amber won’t know what to do with all these cupboards,” said her mother, Linda Tweed, as she inspected the spacious eat-in kitchen. Habitat Board President Menzo Case said he is “extremely pleased” with the outcome of the home, the largest Habitat has ever tackled. He said the home has been appraised for $130,000. After putting in more than their required 500 hours of sweat equity, the Goodmans will assume a $75,000, 0%, 30-year mortgage.“This family did not get this house for free,” Case told the gathering of family and friends. “They worked hard on this,” he said, noting that Josh Goodman was joined by his friends in the construction business, church groups, college students, family and scores of “unrelated people” who volunteered to work on the project.After a prayer by Pastor Jerry Graziano, Case presented the family with Habitat gifts of Bibles and a gift basket of cleaning supplies from Proctor & Gamble, as well as a “Home Sweet Home” sign crafted by Sarah Smolinski, owner of the previous Habitat home. Volunteer coordinator Karen Simon gave Josh Goodman traditional gifts of bread, “so you won’t know want,” salt, “to add spice and flavor to your life” and a wooden sign with coat hooks that said “live, laugh, love” to celebrate his family. “It is good to see tears here for all the right reasons,” she said.As he accepted the keys to his new home, Josh Goodman said he was at a loss for words to express his gratitude. “This is the biggest thing to happen to our family,” he said.The Habitat volunteers won’t be taking time off, Case said. Work has already begun on the next project, cleaning and doing some demolition work on “a dilapidated former … house” that was the site of some drug activity on Miller Street in Seneca Falls.Rehab work will begin in November. Work will be on Saturday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information about volunteering, contact Habitat for Humanity at volunteer@habitatseneca.org.Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build homes or renovate existing homes to create decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. Mortgage payments received by the affiliate are used to build more homes.Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County, NY, is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people.

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