New Castle News

January 22, 2014

Habitat burns its first mortgage

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The first Habitat for Humanity house built in Lawrence County has been paid off.

Homeowners Richard and Helen Marie Gould burned their mortgage yesterday while past and present board members and volunteers for Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity looked on.

The mortgage burning took place outside the Habitat offices in the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce building on the Columbus Innerbelt.

Prior to the mortgage burning, there was a short ceremony inside. Habitat  Executive Director Sheree Cunningham introduced the Rev. William Schafer and the Rev. Andrew Jillson, who were among the founders of Habitat and who presented the Goulds the keys to their house in 1998. Schafer oversaw the construction of the home, which is located at 216 Crawford Ave.

Jennifer Gordon, past executive director of Habitat, recalled it was “a pleasure” to work with the Goulds and said the completion of the first house gave Habitat founders a feeling of “we did it.”

Richard Gould said he and his wife “loved Habitat,” adding “We are really appreciative.”

“Keep up the good work,” he said.

 Habitat for Humanity held the Goulds’ mortgage, and Habitat officials said the Goulds are a model for other Habitat families because they never missed a payment.

Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity was formed in 1995, and volunteers began building the Goulds’ home in 1997.