Brown family selected for second Habitat for Humanity homeOpen House to be held Sunday, Dec. 2
Damien and Holly Brown, who currently live in Stockton Springs with their children, Abigail, almost 8, and Noah, 6, were “surprised and quite taken back” to learn they had been selected as the second partner family for Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County.
“We feel so lucky that we can now tell our children that they don’t have to switch schools anymore and we can focus on building our family dynamic and looking after each other,” Holly said.
“We applied because we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to give our children stability that you don’t have when you are renting an apartment. Instead of paying a landlord for years and years and at the end of your time there, having nothing to show for it, we decided we would start a plan to reduce our debt, pay off back bills and slowly work our way to owning a home. Owning a home has always been a dream of ours and now instead of slowly working our way toward owning a home, this accelerates our plan… We didn’t think we had much of a chance, I mean, a lot of people need help. We just assumed we wouldn’t be chosen. We feel extremely blessed and eternally grateful to all of those who put so much hard work on the planning and building of the home in Searsport,” the Browns said.
When the house on the Old County Road in Searsport is completed, the Browns will purchase it for fair market value, but with a no-interest mortgage. That will essentially allow them to make monthly payments that are not much higher than what they have been paying for rent.
In order to be selected as the partner family, they had to show they had the income to make the monthly payments, had relatively good credit, no recent criminal record and an enthusiasm for working with Habitat to complete their “sweat equity” requirement.
“We don’t mind putting in the hours and it’s actually quite fun… I don’t think our involvement with Habitat for Humanity will stop after we reach a certain number of hours. We’ll put in our ‘sweat equity’ hours and then we all feel as though we want to continue to be part of the organization as much as we can be,” says Holly.
Damien has been employed as an IT technician at Mathew Bros. in Belfast for a year. After high school, he attended the New England School of Communications and worked for 10 years in radio. In 2009, he went to Eastern Maine Community College to work toward a computer technician degree.
Holly currently works nights at Sweetser in Belfast as a youth and family councilor. Working nights is ideal for Holly since their son is autistic and needs a high level of care, which makes it difficult to find daycare for him. She is also working on her bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services at the University of Maine.
Recently, Holly was at the construction site working on the house when Jenness Robbins, head of the construction committee, says she looked up and said, “I can’t believe this is going to be our house.” In fact, she says she doesn’t think she will be able to believe it completely “until we have signed the papers and gotten the keys.”
Both Browns say they want to thank all the people who have made it possible for them to have this home. “A lot of very caring and dedicated people have had a part in building this house. And we would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”
Habitat for Humanity is holding an open house at the new house, located at 84 Old County Road in Searsport, on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is an opportunity to tour the house and to meet the Brown family.