Green Bay Habitat for Humanity home dedicated despite challenges presented by coronavirus pandemic

Positively Wisconsin

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Tuesday afternoon, a dedication ceremony was held in front of Dexter and Fatima Perez’s new Green Bay home.

“The patience has finally paid off,” Dexter told Local 5 ahead of the ceremony.

The Perez family has waited for this moment since being approved for a Habitat for Humanity home in 2018.

The build was delayed by the search for a lot big enough to build a wheelchair accessible home for Fatima.

“I am extremely excited,” Dexter said, “and I think my daughter, my son, and my wife are all as excited as I am.”

Construction of the new home began this past spring.

“So it actually started right in the midst of the pandemic,” Michelle Heeler, Director of Family & Volunteer Services for Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity explained. “We did shut our build sites down for a period of time back in March and April, and right now they are closed as well, too.”

For the time being, only professionals and skilled volunteers are working on current builds.

But whenever the build site was open, “One of the homeowners, though, Dexter, he didn’t want to miss a beat,” Michelle said. “When his home started, he was here every day that we were open.”

Dexter told Local 5 that having the chance to have a hand in building his own home was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s something special when you build your own home,” he said. “It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

Next door to the Perez home, another Habitat build is already underway.

“We want to return those good blessings by being the best neighbors to everybody around us,” Dexter said, “and by trying to set the best example, especially to our new neighbors here.”

Even with smaller building crew, Habitat for Humanity is moving forward.

“We’re moving our mission forward and building every day that we can as safe as possible because the need for home ownership in this community is so large,” Michelle said.

The new homeowners are ready for their next chapter.

“We’re looking forward to moving in as soon as possible,” Dexter said, “and we’re really excited.”


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