CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville dedicated a new neighborhood today. Harmony Ridge, located off of Fifth Street in Charlottesville, is Habitat’s eighth mixed-income neighborhood.
Mohammed Shafiqi, a homeowner in the newly minted neighborhood, recently moved in with his family.
“We have a four bedroom here and also we have a front yard, so my children can play. And they like here, better," Shafiqi said.
After moving from home to home, to a hotel, to an apartment, Shafiqi says the new house is a blessing, giving him and his family the space they needed.
“The apartment was a little bit tight but I said, that’s okay for now and we can live here, but I was still looking for a house," Shafiqi explained. "Finally, we applied for Habitat for Humanity and we got it and we are really thankful for this house and we are grateful.”
As part of Habitat’s “Interim Mission Plan," the organization worked to get the 10 houses in the neighborhood built and ready to move into as quickly as possible. Despite the expedited process, Shafiqi said the move required patience.
“A lot of the homeowners wanted to come to the construction site, but it was the Habitat rules to keep everybody safe and they didn’t want anyone to come here. That took a little bit longer because we waiting. But finally, we are here," he said.
For Shafiqi and his family, the move has fostered a sense of community, especially for his children, and the many others that live in the neighborhood.
“We have like 16 kids, maybe 20, and the kids are very friendly and they love each other," He said.
Shafiqi says the help from Habitat is about more than just having a home for his family. It’s about creating family, too.
“It’s not only about building houses for people, it’s about the people. It’s about bringing people from different cultures, from different religions, from different backgrounds, under one roof.”