Moving day

Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County Executive Director Lori Oberlander (right) speaks to the large crowd gathered at Saturday
Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County Executive Director Lori Oberlander (right) speaks to the large crowd gathered at Saturday's dedication ceremony at New Hope. The Natins family (left, family of four) is one of four families who moved into the West Bremerton location.
— image credit: Rachel Brant/staff photo

Loretta Peterson, Teri Hoffman, Portia Santos and Diana Natins are the new ladies of New Hope Circle.

Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County hosted a dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of four new homes at the West Bremerton location Saturday, Jan. 3. The four women and their families began moving into their new homes shortly after the celebration.

"This is an amazing day and I'm so glad ya'll could be here to celebrate with us," Hoffman said to the large crowd gathered for the ceremony.

She moved into New Hope with her three children, Aliah, Kaleb and Preston.

Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County Board of Directors President Bill Doner said 14 houses were completed last year in New Hope and, with four done by Jan. 3, Habitat looks to build even more houses in 2009.

"We're committed to building as many houses as you, our donors, will allow us," Doner said.

Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman attended the dedication ceremony and spoke of the importance of home ownership, which is a first for many New Hope residents.

"This is really about hope, hope for these people who would not normally be homeowners," he said.

Bozeman said the city of Bremerton donated more than $1 million to Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County's New Hope project and plans to contribute more funds.

"The city loves this program," Bozeman said.

Habitat for Humanity Development Manager Josh Dougherty said it costs roughly $60,000 to build one house in New Hope and all of the money came from community donations.

Each family received a welcome gift and handmade quilt at Saturday's dedication ceremony. Bremerton's Grocery Outlet stocked the families' refrigerators and pantries with food to welcome them to the neighborhood. They also received $100 gift cards to the grocery store.

"I do believe that two years ago, God brought me to Habitat," Peterson said through tears. "I've learned so much and it's changed my life totally."

Peterson moved into New Hope with her daughter Barbi and 4-year-old grandson Jaden.

Peterson, Hoffman, Santos and Natins all put in "sweat equity" hours building their Habitat homes. Natins said she is proud to live next door to the newest ladies of New Hope because they all worked hard to become homeowners.

"I'm proud to move in here with these ladies because they are hardworking," she said.

Each family was presented a Bible and sets of keys to their homes at the dedication ceremony. Local pastors blessed each of the four residences and the families began moving into their new homes.

"This is New Hope," Natins said.

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