Brendan Davidson, a 4-year-old who loves orange, is moving to a new home. For the first time in his short life, he’ll experience one of childhood’s most exciting creative joys: choosing the color of his room. The color he wants is no surprise, but he still has a few months to pick out the exact shade. The house needs to be built first.
Recently, Brendan – wearing an orange shirt – his father, Korey, and his sister, Briena, dug into the dirt at an empty lot in a Kalispell subdivision. As part of a Habitat for Humanity ceremony, they were celebrating the groundbreaking of their home, which is also the 50th house constructed in the valley with help from the nonprofit organization.
“It’s been a prayer and a dream for us to own our own home,” Korey’s wife, Mary, said during the ceremony. “Habitat for Humanity is making that happen, and we’re grateful for the opportunity.”
Habitat for Humanity rallies volunteers to build “simple, decent and affordable [houses for] low-income families” who, after putting in roughly 500 hours of “sweat equity” build time during construction, purchase it from Habitat with a 0 percent-interest mortgage. Work on the Davidson’s home will start soon, in order to finish by December and get the family “home for the holidays.”
“It’s very exciting [to break ground on our 50th home],” Erin Falcon, executive director of Flathead Habitat for Humanity, said. “We’ve moved from different communities – Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Kalispell – wherever there’s need. It’s nice to take time from the hustle and bustle of the build and reflect on the families we’ve helped.”
The Davidsons came to the valley five-and-a-half years ago from Massachusetts and have spent much of their time in the Flathead bouncing from apartment to apartment.
“We have been talking about owning a house since we got married eight years ago,” Mary said. “But it was always two steps forward and one step back. We moved a lot. We want a stable home with room to grow.”
Korey, who works for a Kalispell dialysis clinic and does construction jobs on the side, is eager to begin work.
“I’m always the one building for other people,” he said. “It’s amazing to actually build my own house, be on the other side. I want my kids to grow up in a house that’s ours. If they want to paint a wall, then they can paint a wall.”
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