It was the persistent encouragement of her 14-year-old son Deandre that pushed Sandra Medeiros to gather the required documentation and fill out the application to become a home owner through Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell.
She applied in October. She was notified she had been selected on Thanksgiving. Tuesday morning, Sandra was part of a team of 17, including a pack of carpentry students from Greater Lowell Technical High School, who lifted the 3,000 pound front wall of what will be her family’s home at 49 Rock St.
“I jumped through hoops, I would do anything I needed to for this to happen,” said the single mother of five boys ages 10 months to 15 years, who works as a personal care attendant and attends Middlesex Community College.
Sandra and her boys will live in one half of two duplexes being built on the site, which just last October was a blighted vacant lot.
The Rock Street project furthers the city’s vision for the continued revitalization of the Acre neighborhood, which has been ongoing for 15 years. It is the first project Habitat has done in Lowell since the construction of three duplexes on Harmony Way in the city’s Back Central neighborhood in 2004.
“It is the build of a house, the build of a home, the build of a family, the build of a community,” Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell Executive Director Brenda Gould said at the October 25 groundbreaking. “When a family thrives a neighborhood thrives and the community is strengthened.”
The organization has built 24 homes in the region since 1991 in Bedford, Billerica, Reading, Westford and Lowell.
Those chosen to own the homes are not given them for free; they are granted and must pay back a 0% 30-year mortgage. Applicants are vetted to determine they do have a steady income and are required to invest 400 hours of sweat equity in building their home.
Sponsors for the Rock Street project include: Netscout, Cisco, RE/MAX Prestige, Progress Software, Litle & Co.; IBEW 103; and Greater Lowell Technical High School.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, visit http://lowellhabitat.org/