Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, TN

PHOTOS: Habitat of Montgomery County Hosts First Home Dedications of 2024

Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County recently hosted the first home dedication ceremonies of 2024 in New Providence and near the heart of Downtown Clarksville.


The celebrations for the families of Katina Porter and Maria Sanchez drew more than 75 volunteers, donors, and public officials who witnessed the ceremonial presentation of keys, making their homeownership official.

Rob Selkow, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, said Porter, a mother of two, and Maria Sanchez, along with her granddaughter Grace Ramos, qualified for their homes last fall. “From the day they were accepted into the program, these families have put their hearts into the work and demonstrated what we mean by partnership housing,” Selkow said.


Habitat Board Member Luke Dahlen fought back tears as he presented keys to Katina. “Now I’m going to cry,” she said, “but it makes me feel good to know that we blessed somebody else, and you’re still going to see us around Habitat because this family is grateful.” 


Perry Porter beamed as he took the microphone; “Since I was a kid, anytime my mom made us a promise, we would always do a pinkie swear. Whether it was a toy or something else, we would always get it,” he said. “When she promised, we were going to get a house, we knew it would happen, and here it is.” Perry then recognized Jana Moffet, who taught him and his twin sister Shay in kindergarten. “I’m a senior and about to graduate, and I thank you and everyone else here for blessing us.”

Homebuyers who qualify for a Habitat for Humanity home invest hundreds of hours of labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and fellow Habitat homebuyers. They also complete budget counseling and homeowner classes on credit management and home maintenance.

The second home, located near downtown Clarksville, was sponsored by the Clarksville ReStore. Maria Sanchez, and granddaughter Grace Ramos, moved from Puerto Rico in 2018. In December, Grace graduated from Austin Peay State University. Maria is a cafeteria worker for CMCSS. Since Maria’s first language is Spanish, Grace translated for her as she addressed the guests at the dedication.

Builder Donnie Mitchell, a longtime Habitat volunteer, presented the keys to Maria and Grace and recognized the workers who gave their time and talent to complete the home by Mother’s Day. “These volunteers are people I’ve worked with for years, and many of them came from Houston, Cheatham, Davidson, and Montgomery counties. Some of them gave to a family they may never meet, and that’s very humbling.”


Other presenters included Habitat Board Members Michelle Hearns, County Commissioner Rashidah Leverett, Board President Sonda Finley, Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, Jerry Simmons from St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Hilda Hernandez of Refuge of Love, Michelle Austin of Clarksville Neighborhood and Community Services, Montgomery County School Board Member Margaret Pace (representing Montgomery County Master Gardeners), Amelia Wallace and Sandra Watson of the local DAR chapter, and Christie Crawford and Jamie Dahlen with the Clarksville Quilt Posse and Millie Armstrong of Les Candides Garden Club.

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