"It's difficult to explain how grateful I am to Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island. They're helping people that have basically lost all hope, that have resigned themselves to living in poverty and never getting ahead."
In late 1997, a property with a house was found on Rosehill Street in Nanaimo that would allow the construction of a duplex. After much fundraising efforts, the first Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island property was purchased in May 1998 for $75,000.
In September 1999, demolition began on the old house on the property in preparation for the construction of a duplex. Habitat Mid-Vancouver Island teamed up with the Human Resources Development Corporation where six displaced fishermen did the carpentry work and Allen Gough, with a long history in the construction trade in Nanaimo, took the role of Project Supervisor, responsible for coordinating all aspects of the duplex. Materials for the new duplex were donated and construction was carried out by volunteers.
The Dedication ceremony for the first two three-bedroom homes was in April 2000. One of the new homeowners was Phyllis and her two children. Phyllis said that their home represented, “a new beginning, a place where they could settle down and pursue their dreams. I’ve been a single parent for a long time and it’s been hard dealing with landlords, rental places and just getting things fixed.”
The second homeowner, Keri and her two children, were also excited to be moving into their new home and “overwhelmed with appreciation for everyone who had helped.” She also said, “It’s difficult to explain how grateful I am to Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island. They’re helping people that have basically lost all hope, that have resigned themselves to living in poverty and never getting ahead. I just hope all of the people and businesses, all of the volunteers who have helped us, realize what they’ve done for us. It’s not just a structure. It’s so…appreciated. This morning my daughter told me, Mum, today’s the first day of my bedroom. It finally looks alive.“