Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga will celebrate a double dedication ceremony in honor of new homeowners, Betty Hurd and Vanester Steele. The ceremony for the homes, located right across the street from each other, will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at 3415 Kirkland Ave. in Alton Park.
Habitat for Humanity’s dedication ceremonies commemorate a family completing the process of homeownership. It is a celebration that marks the completion of sweat equity hours and educational efforts in order to buy the homes, as well as an opportunity for all volunteers and sponsors who worked on or contributed toward the homes to view the finished results.
Mayor Andy Berke and City Council Chairman Erskine Oglesby are among the elected officials who will be on hand for the dedication.
“As these two families begin living in their new homes, we are reminded about the importance of building strong neighborhoods for the future,” said Mayor Berke. “Thanks to Habitat, the Hurd and Steele families will always share the day they became neighbors. Their presence will add to the fabric of this neighborhood and in turn, will strengthen the community we all share.”
“Home dedications are in many ways like a graduation,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Development Director Dominique Brandt. “These new homeowners put in hundreds of hours of hard work to get here. As they become homeowners, they do so well-prepared for the responsibility and challenges they will face in the future. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate with Vanester, Betty, and their families and friends.”
Ms. Steele and her family were the recipients of the 2019 Women Build house. Ms. Steele has looked forward to giving her two children, Erin (13) and Brandon (17), a home they can call their own. She has long dreamed of what it will be like to sit on her very own front porch. “I just can’t wait for the peace - the peace of knowing that this home will be mine,” said Ms. Steele.
Ms. Hurd is a mother to two adult children, Nicholas (30) and Tawanna (28), and grandmother to five grandchildren. When asked what her future dreams are, Ms. Hurd delights in knowing she will be leaving behind a home and hardworking legacy to her children and grandchildren.
She is a graduate of Brainerd High and has worked for Burger King for over 10 years, working her way up to assistant manager.
Ms. Hurd is very thankful to be on this journey with Habitat for Humanity. She said, “I’ve never had a real place that felt like home. I can’t wait for the day I walk into my Habitat home.”
Sponsors for the home of Vanester Steele include the Women Build Breakfast, Chick-Fil-A Brainerd Village, Maclellan Foundation, City of Chattanooga, with help from Women Build Teams from Pratt Home Builders, The Punky Brewsters, Team Hope, Team Cory, and Team HBA. Sponsors for the home of Betty Hurd include The Clarence E. Harris Foundation and city of Chattanooga.
All are invited to join the celebration as Betty and Vanester become first-time homeowners. A reception will follow the ceremony.