BANGOR, Maine — Eleven-year-old Dellana Kessler is looking forward to having a yard.
Her mother, Michelle Kessler, 49, is anxious to have a mortgage.
The family will get both later this year when a three bedroom, 1,068-square-foot home on Ohio Street near Mount Pleasant Cemetery is completed.
“I wanted a bigger space to do gymnastic and dance and stuff,” Dellana said Friday at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project.
The family lives in a nearby townhouse that Michelle Kessler said they have outgrown. She also said that the neighbors’ smoking has been an issue with Dellana’s asthma.
“We never would have thought in a million years that we would be chosen,” the elder Kessler said. “We just feel extremely blessed. It’s great to have the opportunity to embark on this endeavor with Habitat and folks in my own parish side by side helping us to build the home.”
The Kesslers were chosen from nine applicants by a selection committee but being a parish member was not a criteria used to decide who would occupy the one-story home, according to Ruth Rogers, communications director for the parish.
More than 100 families in the parish that includes churches in Bangor, Brewer, Hampden and Winterport contributed more than $140,000 to the construction. Parish members also will be volunteering, beginning in August, to work on building the house.
A frost wall already has been erected and plumbing and insulation are slated to be installed later this month. As the groundbreaking ceremony ended Friday, a truck dumped a load of fill dirt on the edge of the property.
The lot was carved out of a 10-acre wooded plot donated by the parish and the cemetery, the Rev. Frank Murray said.
“If they reach all their goals, as I understand it, the home would be completed by Christmastime, which would be the best gift that we could receive,” Michelle Kessler, who works for a local physician, said.
Like all Habitat homeowners, Michelle Kessler will give the organization a $500 down payment after completing 200 hours of “sweat equity” on the house. Once construction is completed, the mortgage will be affordable and won’t exceed more than 30 percent of her income, according to Habitat.
Michelle Kessler said Friday that she believes God answered her prayers for an affordable home.
“Everything goes in his hands and it is a reminder daily that it is one day at a time,” she said. “He’s in control and he chose us. I feel like he gave us this blessing, he heard those prayers and he answered them.”
This is the first time Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor has partnered with a Catholic parish and the 18th home it has spearheaded.
Murray said Friday that All Saints Parish, based in Brunswick, has built three houses with Habitat organizations in that area.
For information on volunteering for the project, visit habitatbangor.org.