A major milestone for Habitat for Humanity Matthews Saturday as they dedicated their 100th home since the Christian non-profit opened the local chapter in 1989! The gathering Saturday included some members of the original founding board, who watched as another low-income family was given an affordable home. Tanisha Logan, who works at Home Depot, has three kids and for a long time struggled to pay $750 dollars a month in rent, she worried before long she wouldn't have a place for her three kids to sleep.
The parishioners of St. Matthew Catholic Church built the home on George Clay Lane near downtown Matthews. It's a significant location because this is where their journey began 24 years ago. Their very first Habitat home was built just down the street in 1989. I was there to photograph the family as the home was blessed by Father Robert Conway, pastor of St. Matthew. He prayed the home would be filled with love and joy.
Ms. Logan told me, she didn't really have words for her feelings. "Overwhelmed, grateful, and thankful," she told the crowd, fighting back tears. As we walked through the house with some of her relatives you could see the wonder and excitement on their faces. Through teary eyes she told me, "Do you know what happened to me, I felt God tell me when I was younger, ‘If you raise your children to do the right thing, I will take care of you.' And I believe He has," Logan said.
As we stood admiring the beautiful window in her master bathroom, Sandy McGarrah, an original founding member of Habitat Matthews came into the room. She and Logan gave each other a good long hug. Sandy was elated to be a part of the home blessing. "Amazing that this is the very neighborhood where began so long ago," she told me.
The motto of Habitat for Humanity has always been giving family "a hand up, not a hand out". That is especially true for the Logan family. Every day after working a full shift, Tanisha Logan would come to the construction site and work another 4-7 hours. Logan put 400 work hours in to building her new home.
Father Conway pointed out in his invocation, "We are grateful for hearts of compassion….for those who built this house, who brought food and water, who prayed for this mission."
Habitat was founded on the concept of making home ownership possible to families who would otherwise be ineligible for traditional financing. Parishioners at St. Matthew collected $65,000 in donations for the project.
Ms. Logan starts this new month out in a new home and with a new position at her job, she was given promotion just minutes after closing on her house.