Tornado survivor breaks ground on Habitat for Humanity home

Local News

CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Monica Thomas was at work the night the Memorial Day tornadoes ripped through the Miami Valley, and her Riverside apartment experienced substantial damage.

“I came home from work and the roof was off from the apartment. My kids were there. It was a scary moment,” Thomas said.

Luckily, her two sons found shelter in their bathroom and were unharmed.

She’d been on a waiting list for a Habitat for Humanity home for some time. 

“A long five years,” she said.

A new home became crucial following the storms. 

Now, several months later, there are stakes in the ground marking the rooms in her future home. 

“We’re excited to be part of her new life and also have the opportunity to build a house out here in Clayton,” said Norm Miozzi, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton’s executive director.

Habitat for Humanity is continuing repair work on tornado impacted homes. 

“We have about eight other families that we’re helping build houses for this year, provided we have the funding to make it happen,” said Miozzi.

Thomas says she’s never had a vision for a dream home. 

“It’s a great vision now that I know what it’s going to look like and it’s here where I always wanted to be,” said Thomas.

“That feeling is what really keeps us going and keeps our donors engaged in what we’re doing,” said Miozzi.

The soon-to-be homeowner has been on a search for peace.  

“I just come (to the lot) and stand out here and just enjoy being here knowing that my house is going to be here,” Thomas said.

She says peace and joy are exactly what this home will bring to her two sons. 

“I just want them to be happy because we all did it together,” Thomas said.

Construction for the home will last about five months depending on weather conditions.

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