Two families are now in new homes thanks to Salem County’s Habitat For Humanity.

More than 40 people, including the new homeowners and the volunteers who helped to build the homes at 672 and 674 Gershal Ave., turned out this past weekend for the dedication of the structures.

“The event was very uplifting and I’m sure a day they will remember for many years to come,” said Sue Ann Leighty, executive director of Habitat.

The new homeowners are John and Tiffany Rowe and their children Ava, Johnny and Emma and Hugo Aimone and his children, Vivian and Sebastian, Leighty said.

These single story homes are built in a U-shape with a two-car garage connecting them.

The project was aided by COAH funding from Pittsgrove Township.

This project by Habitat — its 40th and 41st homes since the affiliate was established in 1982 in Salem County — suffered a setback during the summer.

The worksite fell victim to thieves in late July when $4,000 worth of tools were stolen from a locked trailer.

When news got out, those touched by the story from throughout New Jersey donated both goods and money to help continue Habitat’s mission.

“The tools could not have been stolen at a worse time. This was the “crunch” to get the house finished, inspected and ready for the families to move in. Cutting trim and finish work like installing the hardware for interior doors, ceiling fans, kitchen cabinets was significantly impacted,” Leighty said.

The faith-based non-profit Habitat builds homes for those who would otherwise not be able to afford them. The homeowners purchase the homes through a no-profit, no-interest mortgage or other innovative financing. Part of the process includes the future homeowners providing “sweat equity” by working on the homes themselves.

At the Gershal Avenue site, a groundbreaking was held in July 2016, and since that time, volunteers — and the families that now own the homes — all took part in the construction.

Volunteers included may from local businesses

Among those at the dedication Saturday were students from Washington College in Chestertown, Md, who volunteered at the site for a week in January installing many of the heavy beams which support the homes.this was the second Salem County project the students had worked on.

Others at the dedication included present and past Habitat officers and local officials.

Habitat’s next project is a new home in Pedricktown at 54 S. Railroad Ave. Habitat also continues with its Handyman Program to help those without the ability with hyome repairs. It also installs ramps at homes to make them handicapped-accessible for the residents.

Habitat also operates its ReStore which seels building materials and furniture. those funds help to provide funds to build new homes.

Habitat for Humanity of Salem County will mark its 35th anniversary at a free event Nov. 1 at the Salem County Sportman’s Club in Carneys Point.

By: Bill Gallo Jr
Original Article: