ROANOKE, Va. – There was plenty of joy and excitement along 22nd Street NW in Roanoke on Friday as WSLS 10 News, Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley and generous sponsors kicked off this year’s Home for Good project.
Each year, these community partners come together to build a home for a deserving local family.
To mark the occasion, this year’s homebuyer, Clarence Caldwell, hammered the first nail into wooden boards that will be used for his house.
“My heart is full of joy and gratitude,” Caldwell said prior to Friday’s First Nail ceremony.
The First Nail ceremony happened instead of the typical wall raising that Habitat for Humanity has done in years past because the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down construction supply lines, so not everything was in place to raise a wall.
“It’s going to be the boards that are going to be on the top of his door. So every time he enters in he’ll know that that was the very start of his journey for him here with his first house,” said Daria Chicosky, Construction Supervisor for Habitat.
Despite the challenges, by the end of this summer, Caldwell will have a place to call his own as he builds a legacy for his daughter and grandchildren and experiences the joys of homeownership.
“Oh, I have my work cut out for me,” Caldwell said. “Plan on getting me a little garden going back there. I can’t hardly wait.”
Caldwell’s home and Habitat’s work are also one part of Roanoke’s vision for more safe, affordable housing in the city.
“This is life-changing, and it gives people hope, it fulfills dreams and that’s what we want to do, to make our citizens feel like they are a part of it, because they are invested in our community,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.
This is the 7th Home for Good project for WSLS 10 News. Construction is slated to wrap up by late summer.