TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – On Friday, Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys for a brand-new home to a single mother. Her apartment was destroyed by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
Erica Bohannon is most proud of her new mailbox. After a lifetime of sharing mailboxes at low-income housing, she finally has one of her own. Five years after starting the Habitat for Humanity home ownership process, she’s earned it.
Erica says, “I didn’t think I made that much of an impact.” But her infectious smile and positive attitude clearly did make an impact, as evidenced by the dozens of people who turned out to welcome her and her son home.
Norm Miozzi is the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton. He says, “She’s been in our program for four years, almost five years, never lost hope.”
She’s saved thousands of dollars, put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity, and taken 50 hours of financial literacy classes. She says, “It’s not easy doing this work, but once you get to the point of owning your own home, it’ll be worth it.”
We first met Erica in July after her apartment was destroyed in the Memorial Day tornadoes. At the time she told us, “I see my whole roof come off in front of me as I was holding the door and I had my son and dog in the closet.” After the tornadoes, Habitat for Humanity was able to speed up her move-in date.
Millard Dalton bought his house across the street 46 years ago. The corner lot was empty for nearly five decades. Now he’s finally getting a neighbor. “I just wanted to welcome her to the neighborhood, her and her son. I appreciate it, you couldn’t ask for a better person. Thank you.”
Erica is a hugger, and had plenty to give out to the builders, advisors, insurers, civic groups, and coworkers who helped make her dream a reality. Finally, she got her keys. “I call it the slice of heaven. My heart is super full.”
2020 is set to be a very busy year for Habitat for Humanity. Norm says they’ll have 8-10 new builds next year, as well as dozens of repairs for people impacted by the tornadoes.