NEWBURGH – Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh Saturday dedicated its 96th home to the Flores family on 128 William Street, in the City of Newburgh, which was sponsored by the family of the late Pamela Conklin Ketchum.
The home was the ninth home built by the Women Build group that offers women the opportunity to build homes in the community. It was also the first home dedicated on William Street in Newburgh.
Executive Director Matt Arbolino said it was significant to build a home in this part of Newburgh.
“We chose to build up here because we found it’s not a coincidence that where we build, the business owners and homeowners get a boost,” he said. “We know that in one year from when we start, there’s a dramatic difference in the block.”
Orange County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan lives not too far from the property, which is why the dedication ceremony holds special meaning for him.
“I take this road every single day, and every day I saw people of all ages coming to fix these homes,” he said. “William Street has been seeing a lot of big changes, and it’s a beautiful moment.”
“Miraculous” is how Mayor Torrance Harvey described Habitat Newburgh’s work. “They have done immaculate work remediating homes and providing safe, sanitary and clean homes for our residents,” he said. “They have made people’s dreams come true.”
The son of the family whose dream came true on that day spoke to the crowd about his pride in moving into a new home and gratitude towards the volunteers.
“A home is about the people who surround that you call family that makes a house truly feel like home,” said Tomas Flores, Jr. “I believe there is nothing stronger than the generosity of people who volunteer for the sake of others.”
The Flores family also put their time and effort into building their new home, as Flores Jr. described before the ceremony. They enjoyed the experience so much that they continued their involvement with the organization.
“We put in a certain amount of hours, but even after the hours were done, we came back regularly to help and it was fun for all of us,” he said.
The ceremony came as Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh will be celebrating two milestones in the coming year: its 20th anniversary as an organization and its 100th home dedication, for another home on William Street. Both will be taking place in October.