The home makeover wasn’t quite as lavish as what you might see on primetime TV, but a bungalow on Boulevard Court in Novato underwent a transformation from almost unlivable to quite inviting over the past few months. The key ingredient? Sweat equity.
Although their last names were not released for privacy concerns, the families — Alexandr, Yelena and their college-age daughter, plus Heather, Hector and their 12-year-old daughter — beamed with pride at becoming homeowners through Habitat for Humanity. The latter family is moving into a new home in Ignacio.
Alexandr, who speaks Russian and very little English, was asked what it means to be the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home near downtown Novato, and all he could do was break into huge smile, raise his hands above his head and say bolshoi spaciba, or big thanks.
In fact, two families were given keys to their new homes at a Habitat for Humanity ceremony Tuesday in Novato. They thanked the Habitat for Humanity staff, civic leaders, volunteers and neighbors for making the home purchases possible.
Novato Mayor Madeline Kellner and Marin County Supervisors Judy Arnold and Susan Adams were among the officials who welcomed Alexandr and his family to the neighborhood. Habitat's regional executive director Phillip Kilbridge welcomed the crowd and thanked the city for its contributions to the homes, which count toward regional affordable housing quotas.
Habitat’s Deven Richardson, the regional office’s director of real estate development, credited Wells Fargo, Coldwell Banker and the for allowing the purchases to happen. Father Edward Inyanwachi of made a blessing, and students from Marin Primary and Middle School presented gifts to the families.
Here is a story from the about these homes and families.