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Hudson Valley Press


October 24th, 2012

Habitat dedicates two homes in Newburgh



The Gunera Family, Carlos and Eulalia, along with their children Karla and Ricardo, will now call 10 Catherine Street in the City of Newburgh their new home as they were presented with their keys at a special dedication on Saturday.
NEWBURGH - “A piece of yourself is left in every house you make.”

Maureen Crush, the President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, who was involved in her last dedication (she will be stepping away from position) told this to the crowd gathered in front of 8 and 10 Catherine Street Saturday afternoon.

Crush went on to provide further punch to the statement, asking, “How many of you have left a piece of yourself in a Habitat House you have helped build?” The immediate loud, affirmative response resonated volumes.

It’s that very spirit that could be found on the City of Newburgh Street whose roots can be traced back to the early 19th Century. Here, the Newburgh affiliate of Habitat had a trio of reasons to celebrate. Not only was it the “lucky 13th” anniversary of the organization’s birth, but it was also the official completion of two more of the organization’s homes. Still another triumphant undercurrent filled the day.

“Today is very exciting because last year, in November, 2011, we had our 50th house dedication, and at that time we set a goal to build 50 more houses in five years,” said Cathy Collins, Executive Director, Habitat Newburgh. “The completion of 8 and 10 Catherine Street keep us right on track for meeting that goal.”

Saturday’s Dedication was made even more special thanks to the presence of the Americorp NCCC (National Civilian Community Core). The national service organization, composed of 18-to-24-year-olds who strengthen communities through direct service, spent six weeks making sure the Catherine Street residences became a reality. Travis Hargrove of Kingston was one of those volunteers.

“I joined to give back to the community and develop certain skills,” said Hargrove. “I learned a great deal about flooring and siding, and just had a great time with this wonderful chapter here in Newburgh.”

8 Catherine Street, sponsored by Leprechaun Lines, is now the proud home of the Castanedas. Mother Nora will be joined by her 13-year-old son Juan and grandmother Flora in occupying the home. Frank Gallagher, one of the home’s sponsors as well as the incoming President of Habitat of Newburgh, spoke of the potency of being involved in a Habitat’s creation.

“Each time one of these houses is completed, it’s a deposit in my soul,” said Gallagher.

Nearby to the Castanedas, on 10 Catherine Street, will be the Gunera Family; couple Carlos and Eulalia, along with their two children, 10-year-old Karla and Ricardo, age two.

Sponsored by Presby Build and Labor Build, the Gunera home marked  number 60 in Habitat Newburgh’s 13-year tenure of making home ownership dreams a reality in Newburgh.

“It’s a dream day for me and my family, especially our children,” said Carlos, with the help of a translator. “We have worked very hard and now being able to be here and see all of this makes us so happy.”

His wife, Eulalia, also spoke in Spanish of the precious nature of owning a home.

“It’s special to have a home for privacy, and so we can accomplish things with more confidence,” said Eulalia. “It shows how with hard work, you can make something yours.”

The new neighbors officially welcomed one another when Nora Castaneda presented Carlos Gunera with a quilt. The two families went on to hug one another. Comments of a house becoming a home soon followed prior to Pastor Porfirio Matos of the Church of God providing the Blessing of the Houses.

“I look out and see all the different colors of people from different backgrounds, and I think about how amazing it is when people get together, and how they can accomplish anything,” Matos told the crowd, surrounded by the brilliant sky and fall foliage. “Thank God for Habitat; it’s a place in heaven for those who truly need it.”
5 / 5 (3 Votes)


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Reader Response
  • supaWHOAman
  • October 25th, 2012 After reading this Article, I found myself feeling a little disgruntled.I find it disappointing that the people who were given this Habitat house needed a translator to express their graditude for their new home.... Which left me wondering, if the family needs a translator because they don't speak English, are they American citizens? I can't imagine them being born raised in America and not speak english @ all. Which in turn led to me to ask, are there not any *Hardworking American Citizens* that deserve a break? I'm also going to add the Habitat house next door is also being occupied by another non-english speaking Family.....

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