Kalamazoo Mom & Son Move Into First Home Thanks To Habitat

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich.–For Prisila Panchoa and her 4-year-old son Elijah, St Patrick’s Day marked a new beginning.

“I’m excited, I”m overwhelmed, I’m blessed,” said Panchoa.

The new home on Cherry Hill Street in Kalamazoo is all theirs.

“No more renting, it’s actually mine,” said the mother from Kalamazoo.

The whole thing was possible thanks to the Kalamazoo Valley Habitat For Humanity.

Volunteers spent more than 4,000 hours building the home. Lots of power tools and paint, along with the help of Western Michigan University students.

“It is so rewarding for me and the rest of the students to actually do something with our Saturdays and give back,” explained Megan Kaiser, a WMU student volunteer with Habitat For Humanity.

The group started in May and had the home move-in ready for the family for the Sunday dedication.

“I just want to thank Habitat for letting me into the program, I feel so blessed,” remarked Panchoa at the open house.

Her son also received some welcome blankets made by women from a local church.

The Kalamazoo Habitat for Humanity program builds or rehabilitates about eight homes every year in Kalamazoo County for low-income families seeking an affordable home.

The qualified buyers must take financial classes, help with building, meet income requirements, and keep up with the no-interest mortgage KVHH provides.

“Giving people the ability to help themselves bring themselves out of poverty and into a beautiful house, it is wonderful,” said Kaiser.

The family was the 188th homeowner with Habitat.

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