Benebone and Habitat for Humanity celebrate homeownership journey for local family
Home dedication ceremony in Hamilton provides family with keys to their new home
Habitat for Humanity of South Central New Jersey and Benebone were joined Thursday, June 15th, by volunteers, supporters, and members of the community at the site of a newly built affordable home to celebrate a local family’s journey of becoming homeowners.
Habitat SCNJ and Benebone broke ground on the home last fall, and thanks to the use of modular construction and volunteer power, the project took shape in just a few months. The team at Benebone have been passionate supporters and partners for this affordable homeownership project and provided everything from moral support, to a full house sponsorship to construct the home, to volunteers who flew in from across the country to put the finishing touches. Now, the Benebone team is back to hand the keys over to the new homeowner, Ebony, and open a world of opportunity for her and her children.
Ebony learned about Habitat for Humanity’s Affordable Homeownership Progr
am after receiving an email notification from her daughter’s high school and thought it would be a great opportunity for her family. As a domestic violence survivor, her primary goal for herself and her family has always been safety and stability. Her previous living situation was an unaffordable and overcrowded 2-bedroom apartment where her three teenage daughters shared one bedroom. After renting for the past 10 years, getting a divorce, and raising her girls on her own, Ebony just knew that homeownership was the path she wanted to take to be able to invest into long term equity that could stay within her family for generations.
Ebony and her daughters enthusiastically volunteered alongside other partner families and Benebone volunteers at the construction site and in the ReStore. Their commitment to meet the sweat equity and financial education requirements of the program have been no easy feat either, as Ebony works full-time as a Certified Medical Assistant, and her oldest daughter is a freshman in college. It has all been worth it, the family says, now that they own a home with plenty of space and a yard for a garden.
The home that Ebony has purchased is a two-story, 3-bed, 1.5-bath modular nestled in a walkable, residential neighborhood of Hamilton. It was outfitted with efficient features like Whirlpool appliances and a tankless water heater. And like all Habitat for Humanity homes, this Benebone sponsored house was sold with a thirty-year mortgage and payments that are no more than 30% of Ebony’s household income.
Chief Development Officer at Habitat SCNJ, Annie Fox said, “We are so lucky to have incredible partners like Peter, Jim, and the entire Benebone team who put their whole heart into making these projects a reality. Ebony and her daughters are so kind and deserving of this homeownership opportunity, and can’t wait to see what they grow in their garden and how they grow in their lives as they take the next step forward.”
This home ownership project has been a part of Benebone’s 10 year celebration of providing dogs with high-quality, durable chews. After its founding in New Jersey in 2012, the tight-knit team at Benebone has expanded to include employees across the country to meet the growing demand for their high quality products. Founder Peter Toolan and his family live and work in our community every day, and have been involved in every step of the way for each project between Benebone and Habitat SCNJ.
Benebone’s CFO Jim Toolan said: “We’re thrilled to complete our second house for SCNJ. My wife Agnes and I raised a family right here in Hamilton township. My children, Peter and Marie, both have fond memories growing up here. Our family’s connection to the area, along with our company’s, makes this meaningful contribution even more special. Congratulations to Ebony and her family!”
Folks can see pictures from the home dedication ceremony on Benebone’s (@myBenebone) and Habitat’s (@HabitatSCNJ) social media pages. Interested in giving a family like Ebony’s the hand up they need to build strength, stability, and self-reliance? Shop at Habitat SCNJ’s ReStores in Hamilton, Maple Shade, and Egg Harbor, volunteer by contacting kwittman@HabitatSCNJ.org, or simply donate at www.hfhbmc.org/donate. Every bit of support provided helps build brighter futures for families in need!