Trenton family receives keys to new Habitat for Humanity home

News Apr 30, 2017 by Erin Stewart Quinte West News

The Hawn/Francoeur family accepted the keys to their new home on Bay Street in Trenton from Habitat for Humanity on Friday Apr. 28. From left: Vanessa, Kye, Katie, Jesse and Lilly.

Trenton — A few tears were shed as the Hawn-Francoeur family was given the keys to their new home on Bay Street in Trenton, thanks to Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings.

After putting in more than 500 sweat equity hours in helping with the construction of their new home, Vannessa and Jesse and their three children Katie, Lilly and Kye were given the keys in a celebration with well over 50 friends, family members, volunteers and donors in attendance on Friday, April 28.

Vannessa Francoeur spoke for her family and said it was hard to put into words how she felt.

“It means the world to us, to myself to Jesse and the kids, and I can’t wait to make memories through this and give them a backyard and something they can call theirs and we can call our own,” she said. “It’s the greatest feeling. Thank you everyone.”

The family was living in a water-damaged apartment with water leaking from the light fixtures when they were selected by Habitat one year ago.

“This is a perfect family to be partners with,” said Bob Clute, executive director for Habitat for Humanity for six builds now.

“This is a special family because you have a tremendous mom with three kids and a husband working in a very reputable trade, he’s a plumber, and he’s away a lot during the day because he’s on site and he’s a hard working man who loves his family.”

The house, built on property donated by the City of Quinte West, is also special, said Clute.

“This is the best build we’ve ever done, I’m really excited about it,” he said.

“This is a special one because I realize it’s one thing to give someone an affordable mortgage but it’s another when the operating costs will choke a family, so we’ve put a lot of things in this house we’ve never used before.”

LED lighting has been used throughout every room, said Clute, along with walls insulated with five inches of foam, two inches of foam used on the basement floor before the concrete was poured and two inches of foam on the exterior foundation of the building.

Clute was also happy to say the house has an Enerstar rating of 86.

Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and Warden of Hastings County Rodney Cooney attended the event.

“On behalf of all of us here I want to congratulate the family, congratulate Bob, all of the volunteers, all of the people who are part of this project,” said Harrison.

“Going that extra mile makes another life and a new place for a family to live so we want to thank you and congratulate you,” he said.

Ellis said organizations like Habitat and volunteers are going to be needed more as the housing market continues in the direction it’s going.

“Habitat, under the direction of your volunteer board, I’ve looked at their plan and they are ambitious and I know with support from everybody here that we can get this done as a community,” he said.

Clute said a special thank you to the volunteers from CFB Trenton, including 8 Wing Commander Colin Keiver and Chief Warrant Officer Darcy Elder in attendance.

Elder was presented with a special hard hat after Clute said he responded to a last minute request for volunteers to help lay sod on Monday.

“They told us that we had to have it laid in six hours and we went looking for volunteers,” said Clute. “Finally a bright light came on, within a few hours Darcy had amassed seven people to come in on Monday morning to lay the sod back to front.”

The Hawn-Francoeur home marked Habitat’s 20th home build, helping families escape the cycle of poverty and invest in their children’s future.