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Habitat for Humanity Key Ceremony

December 20, 2018 — 

On December 19, Dr. Brian Postl, Dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and Vice-Provost (Health Sciences), University of Manitoba, handed over the keys to Habitat for Humanity partner family Leeann and Craig.

The official move-in date is Friday, but for their four kids – Jordann (15), Quinton (14), Eric (12) and Tierra (7) – the Flora Avenue house already feels like a home.

“Want to come see my room?” Jordann says to his cousin and some friends, beaming with pride. The guys thread their way through the wall-to-wall crowd of well-wishers and dignitaries assembled for the Key Ceremony. At the back of the house is a brightly lit bedroom, just for Jordann. They take in the plush carpet and big windows, nodding and grinning widely. It’s the first time any of the kids has had a room of their own.

Eric, 12, wants to give a tour, too. Before he heads downstairs to show off the warm and cozy lower level, he turns to the room full of guests. “I love this place!” he shouts.

This is the fourth house built through a continued partnership between the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.

The framing of the house started on the Bannatyne campus in early June 2018 with a two-week Blitz Build then moved to its permanent foundation on Flora Avenue. Leeann and Craig put in 500 hours of sweat equity, working hard alongside faculty, staff and students from Rady Faculty.  

“Social responsibility and accountability are core values for our Rady Faculty of Health Sciences’ learners, faculty and staff,” said Postl. “We recognize that safe, affordable housing is a “key to health” and leads to better outcomes including improved health and well-being, education success and self-esteem,” said Postl.

“Partnerships like this are integral to our mission to build affordable and energy efficient homes for working families that would otherwise, not qualify for a traditional mortgage,” said Sandy Hopkins, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. “It is wonderful to see the health-care providers invest their time, talent and cash to assist a family to a much better life.”

“I’m so grateful for this,” said Craig, who works with adults suffering from FASD. “It’s been a long time coming.” In addition to raising a family of active kids – school, sports and extracurriculars keep them all very busy – he and Leeann have been working hard toward their dream of owning their own home within the next five to 10 years. “This sped things up for us so much,” he said. “I’m still getting used to thinking of myself as a new homeowner!”

Faculty, staff and students in the Max Rady College of Medicine, Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, and the Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences have volunteered at, and supported financially, building Habitat for Humanity homes in 2013, 2014, 2016 and now in 2018.

“We are delighted that as a faculty we were able to partner with Habitat for Humanity again and contribute both volunteer hours and raising more than $120,000 to make this family’s dream a reality.”

Click to view the event video.

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