Niles family realizes dreamPublished 9:22am Monday, March 4, 2013
Owning a home was a dream that seemed out of reach for the Beechler family a year ago.
With the help of Niles-Buchanan Habitat for Humanity, the dream became a reality over the weekend.
“It is so exciting,” said Heather Beechler during a dedication ceremony for their new home at 903 Ferry St. in Niles Saturday morning. “We are just so thankful they are giving us this opportunity. Without it, we might not have been able to get a mortgage for two or three years.”
The Beechler’s home is the 27th constructed through Niles-Buchanan Habitat for Humanity, which is celebrating its 25th year in existence.
President Joan Schmidt thanked the countless people and organizations that helped make the building of the Beechler’s home — and the 26 that came before it — possible.
“We are changing an empty lot into a house, and eventually a home, for this family,” she said.
Heather’s husband, Josh, works at Michiana Recycling and Disposal Services in Niles. Heather has been taking nursing classes at Southwestern Michigan College. She said she is currently taking time off from class to take care of her 4-year-old son Adam, who has spina bifida — a birth defect in which the backbone and the spinal canal do not close before birth. Adam currently attends school half day at Northside Child Development Center in Niles.
The Beechlers are looking forward to spending the first night in their new home.
“We are probably going to sit up all night thinking, ‘are we really here?’” she said.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides low-income families the means to become homeowners.
In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their habitat house and the houses of others.
It is largely supported through volunteer labor a donations of money and materials.