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Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity Breaks Ground on Harmony Ridge Project

Posted: Updated: Aug 17, 2017 04:09 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Members of the Charlottesville community are teaming up to provide affordable housing for 10 families.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville broke ground Thursday, August 17, on its new Harmony Ridge project. The new homes are set to be built right off 5th Street in Charlottesville.

The ground breaking ceremony began with a moment of silence for the three lives lost on Saturday, August 12: Heather Heyer, Jay Cullen, and Berke M.M. Bates.

Heyer died after a car rammed into a group protesting the Unite the Right rally. Police have charged 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run.

Cullen and Bates, both with the Virginia State Police, were killed when their helicopter crashed along Old Farm Road in Albemarle County. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

All of the speakers at Thursday’s ceremony spoke about how Harmony Ridge will be for families of all income levels, and that the new development will help the Charlottesville community move forward and show its inclusiveness.

“When you’re swinging a hammer you’re not swinging a bat or a club or a flag pole,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville President Dan Rosensweig.

Habitat for Humanity traces its roots back to times when acts of racism and hatred, like those seen last weekend in Charlottesville, ran rampant.

“They were subject to shootings, cross burnings, to boycotts, any kind of violence that you think could be thrown at them,” Rosensweig said.

Reverend Clarence Jordan founded Koinonia Farms, which later spawned Habitat for Humanity, in spite of the backlash.

“He set up his farm to be a manifestation of the Kingdom of God where people of all races, religions could come together and work,” said Rosensweig.

Harmony Ridge is designed to be a neighborhood for families of all socio-economic statuses.

“Harmony Ridge is aptly named. It’s all people, all faiths, all races, all genders, and we’re working together to create the peaceable kingdom. It’s not a battlefield,” said Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin.

The development will contain 14 new houses, 10 of which will become the new homes of Habitat for Humanity partner families.

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