BRUNSWICK — A lifelong Brunswick resident was presented with the keys to his new home built by Habitat for Humanity of Medina County during a ceremony Sunday afternoon.
A.J. Widowski, 23, received the keys to his new home at 1416 McKinley Ave. from Habitat for Humanity of Medina County Vice President Ron Romanchok.
“It is a super honor for Habitat for Humanity to present you with the keys to your new home,” Romanchok said.
Widowski said he was in the process of looking for a new home when his parents’ homebuilder realized the young professional qualified to partner with Habitat for Humanity and helped point him in the right direction in getting started.
Romanchok said to qualify for the home, Widowski completed 300 “sweat equity” hours.
“Once you are in the program you have to put in, in this case, 300 hours,” he said. “You have to work either on your build site, another Habitat build site or our ReStore (store).”
About halfway through completing the community service, a location and house design are selected. While there are a handful of design plans in regular use for building Habitat for Humanity houses, modifications are made to comply with city building codes.
“Different cities require different things,” Romanchok said. “Brunswick requires a basement and a two-car attached garage, other communities allow you a slab and a single-car garage.”
“It all depends on the community,” he added.
The home was blessed during the ceremony by the Rev. John Jay Roller, and Habitat for Humanity Treasurer Patricia Neal presented Widowski with a Bible signed by those in attendance.
Mayor Ron Falconi and Ward 3 Councilman Joe Salzgeber represented the city of Brunswick during the celebration, with Salzgeber reading a proclamation.
“Whereas Habitat of Humanity of Medina County was established in 1991 as a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate substandard housing locally and globally by building and renovating simple, decent, affordable homes to sell to low-income families,” the proclamation read in part.
Habitat for Humanity construction coordinator Ruth Patton said a Habitat home is completed thanks to a combination of national partners, local contractors and suppliers, volunteers and donations.
We have a lot of amazing corporations around here, Moen being the most prominent here in Brunswick, but we have had a lot of other people involved,” Patton said.
Patton said Habitat for Humanity is looking to connect with more local contractors in Medina County cities.
“People know who we are so we have a lot of partners nationally, we have partners in the county, but we are really trying to develop more partners in the different cities,” she said. “If you know of a contractor who wants to partner with us and cut us a break here and there, that would be amazing.”
Romanchok said a Habitat for Humanity home is not a free house for the homeowner, but rather than a typical home mortgage with an interest rate, the homeowner makes house payments directly to Habitat for Humanity.
“We do not give them the home, they buy the home from us,” Romanchok said. “Habitat is the bank.”
Romanchok said there are three other Habitat for Humanity homes under construction in Medina County, including one in Wadsworth that will be dedicated next week.