Homeowner #1084 – Blaire R., research products coordinator at the Our Blood Institute, knows quite a bit about saving lives. Her job has her shipping needed blood products all over the world. She also believes her new Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity home – built primarily by women during the 2023 Women Build – is a “lifesaver” because it helped her fulfill her longtime desire for a home of her own.
Blaire R. teared up while thanking Habitat staff and 2023 Women Build Honorary Chair and Oklahoma City Police Department Capt. Michelle Henderson after receiving the keys to her new house during her home dedication celebration on Sept. 7, 2023, in northwest Oklahoma City.
She later said without Habitat’s help, buying a new home probably wasn’t in the cards.
“Straight up, I could not have done this without Central Oklahoma Habitat,” Blaire R. said. “There was just no way. I made some bad decisions early on with credit cards and I didn’t have the money for a down payment or closing costs — Habitat was a lifesaver!”
Blaire R. and her parents are also grateful for Habitat’s 2023 Women Build volunteers. They first met Capt. Henderson, who was leading the other volunteers, during Habitat’s framing day at the site where Blaire’s future home was being constructed. Capt. Henderson said she was impressed with the family and appreciated the refreshments they brought to thank the volunteers for their hard work.
“I was super excited to gather up some women in law enforcement and some other business partner women – there were probably 40 of us that very cold Saturday morning,” Capt. Henderson said. “We framed the house, and we met Blaire, her parents and heard about how much this house means to her. It was pretty touching for all of us.”
Habitat Chair/CEO Ann Felton Gilliland praised Henderson and the other volunteers.
“We’ve been fortunate to have many outstanding women to lead the charge as our honorary Women Build chair, and I’m excited Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna has accepted the position for next year,” Felton Gilliland said. “Like Capt. Henderson, we’re excited by her leadership and passion to help limited-income families become homeowners.
I encourage everyone to save the date for our next Women Build on May 4, 2024.”
Blaire R. said she would like to encourage people to apply.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I would qualify, and here I am loving my new home! All you can do is try,” she said. ▪