Three families get new homes for Christmas

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At left, Dawn Taylor of Dover and her four children, Jamil, 13, Alicia, 12, Ariana, 11, and Aniya, 10, stand inside their totally remodeled home thanks to Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, which also supplied the family with a Christmas tree and gifts. At right, an emotional Janelle Moore hands the microphone back after thanking all those who made her family’s dream come true. (Delaware State News)

DOVER — In the spirit of the holiday season, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity has changed the lives of three families, moving each into a new or refurbished home just before Christmas.

“This has been a long time coming,” Yvonne Brown said at the dedication of her new home Monday.

Ms. Brown is the mother of six. Her family has been living on the third floor of an apartment building.

Ms. Brown’s youngest child uses a wheelchair and neither the building nor the apartment were handicapped-accessible. That makes it difficult for her daughter to get into and around the home.

The Browns’ Habitat home on Mifflin Road was built from the ground up starting in March. It is equipped with a

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Dawn Taylor of Dover and her four children Jamil, Alicia, Ariana and Aniya cut the ribbon last Friday on their Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity renovated home.

wheelchair ramp in the garage. Doorways in the home are wide enough for a wheelchair and the house has a handicap-accessible shower.

“It’s been tough but we finally made it to today,” Ms. Brown said. “It’s been tough, but at the same time it’s truly been a blessing.”

She and her family have been working alongside volunteers since March to complete the project even while Ms. Brown held two jobs.

“We’re seeking to put God’s love into action by providing affordable housing to members of our community,” said John Gallo, executive director of Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity.

The following day, Habitat moved another family into a ground-up home — the Moores on Kirkwood Street.

Janelle Moore is the mother of five and all are hard workers — and a little older than the children of the other two families. Her oldest daughter attends Wesley College and plays on the soccer team; the second oldest is looking into applying to colleges next fall.

Like the Browns, Ms. Moore also applied back in March with the goal of moving in before Christmas.

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Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen stopped by with community development director Tracey Harvey and donated a welcome home basket of goodies Friday afternoon to Dawn Taylor and her family during the ribbon cutting.

“It’s been a phenomenal experience, even though it’s been a lot of hard work,” she said.

Like every habitat owner, Ms. Moore and her family were required to put 250 service hours into the building of their home.

“The work was totally worth it because the opportunity of becoming a homeowner gives me the chance to improve my life and the lives of my children,” she said.

Throughout construction, Ms. Moore said she saw an outpouring from the community and all the volunteers worked as hard on her home as if it were their own.

Dawn Taylor and her family were able to see a quicker turnaround than the Browns and Moores with their Queen Street home. That’s because they moved into a refurbished house originally built by Habitat 20 years ago.

“We are all ecstatic,” Ms. Taylor said. “I can’t thank all the regular volunteers enough because they made this happen.”

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Central Delaware Habitat For Humanity board member Karen Speakman of Dover hands Janelle Moore the keys to her new home Tuedsay evening.

The previous owner, Karen Kapcsis, who now lives in Harrington, was at the Dec. 18 dedication to officially hand they key over to Ms. Taylor.

“I hope this home will bring the same blessing it brought me and my family,” Ms. Kapcsos said.

She took a tour of the refurbished home where she raised two boys and took up a gardening hobby with the Taylor family.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “We put a lot of work into this house and made a lot of good memories here.”

Ms. Kapcsis’ husband Lou also attended. He said a new furnace was installed in the home only two years ago. He signed the warranty over to the Taylors so they will have one less thing to worry about in their new home.

The Moores’ dedication, the last of the three holiday homes, marked the 46th house that Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity has built since its founding 25 years ago. It was the fourth home completed this year.

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