FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - n an emotion-filled ceremony, partner homeowner, Tania-Sue Thomas accepted the keys to her new home surrounded by close family, friends, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and staff of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity earlier this month. 

“I’m looking forward to owning my own home and seeing my children grow in a better environment and community,” Thomas said. “I’m so thankful to everyone who worked tirelessly side-by-side with me and my family to reach this goal.”

RVHFH’s volunteer build crew, affectionately dubbed “the Wednesday/Thursday Faithfuls” worked each week on the home and provided support to hundreds of volunteers from corporations, businesses, and faith-based and civic organizations who rolled up their sleeves to help on the construction site. Thomas, her family and friends invested over 300 hours building her home.

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Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer Family Support Committee provided guidance and encouragement to the Thomas Family throughout the building of the home and coordinated the dedication ceremony.  Triumphant Community Church of Jesus Christ Pastor, Rev. Ivan Watson led the attendees in the blessing of the home.

Somerset Country Freeholder, Brian G. Gallagher cordially welcomed the Thomas family to Somerset County. Franklin Township Deputy Mayor, Shanel Robinson, who will also be a neighbor to the Thomas family, offered her support. Meg E. Helms, RVHFH Board President shared, “There is no better feeling than turning over the keys to a brand new home to a family that will love and cherish it.”

The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's HOME Program and the Somerset County Homelessness Trust Fund, Investors Bank, the Lowell F. Johnson Foundation, the PSE&G Foundation and many other corporate and individual contributions supported construction on this home.

Through donations of funds, materials and volunteer labor, RVHFH subsidizes the cost of building a home, sells it at approximately half of the fair market value and extends an affordable mortgage to low- or moderate-income partner homeowners, like the Thomas family. These savings reduce partner homeowners’ monthly housing expenses by 30-50 percent, allowing them to save money, invest in education and pursue other opportunities to increase their earning potential.

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. In the past 27 years, RVHFH has built 51 homes in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Their vision is a time when everyone in Hunterdon and Somerset counties has a decent place to live. To learn more visit www.rvhabitat.org or call 908-704-0016.