• Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

Partner family celebrates new home at dedication ceremony

Updated: Apr 23

April 21 marked a momentous occasion for Ana Castro and her children. The single mother and her family celebrated the completion of construction and dedication of her newly-built four-bedroom home in the Old Hill section of Springfield.


Ana Castro (in gray shirt) and her youngest children, City of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) Executive Director Aimee Giroux, and GSHFH Family Services Manager Deborah O'Mara stand in front of guests as the mayor speaks during the April 21 dedication ceremony for the newest partner family.

The home is a collaboration between Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and the City of Springfield’s HOME funds. Construction began in November 2019 and utilized the efforts, energy, and skills from more than 200 volunteers. They came from AmeriCorps NCCC teams, Community Works, International Women Build week, and students from local colleges.


“My administration and I have been longtime partners with Habitat for Humanity,” City of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said. “I cannot say enough about this program, which brings a number of volunteers and generosity from businesses, including sweat equity from the homeowner, which all goes to make for a stronger street and neighborhood with the new families coming in.”


Ana has said her No. 1 priority is to do her best by her children, ensuring they grow to become loving, kind, and compassionate people. To achieve these goals, Ana continually strives to make herself the best mother she can be. She knew a home is what they need.


Before Ana applied to GSHFH, she worked to improve her credit, enrolled in several courses and programs, including Way Finders’ Family Self-Sufficiency program, a financial education, and a first-time homeowners course. Upon successful completion, the medical receptionist opened her first bank account and applied to GSHFH homeownership program in April 2018. Even though she wasn’t selected, she continued her commitment to meet GSHFH’s homeownership program requirements. Ana reapplied in early 2019 and was selected for the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Springfield.


“The help of the volunteers is awesome. You get to meet so many special people that you would never meet otherwise. We’ve been blessed,” said Ana, who will soon purchase the house from GSHFH. “My kids will be able to play outside, which they haven’t been able to do; I’ll have my grandson grow up and roam the house … I’m looking forward to the future and helping out Habitat for Humanity whenever I can. God bless everyone who helped – all of the volunteers, Habitat for Humanity, and all the special people I’ve met along the way.”


GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux added a final thought before the ceremony concluded.


“Ana, it seems like forever since the first time I met you. You applied more than once and it makes me so happy that we are able to get this Habitat house for you,” Aimee said before asking Ana if she’d like to invite guests to walk through the new home and see the inside.


To learn more about GSHFH or donate to our mission, please visit habitatspringfield.org

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