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Oct 19, 2017

Deserving Partridge Street Family Gets New Home

It’s been said that there is something permanent and something extremely profound in owning a home – and that is what a south side family found out today when they officially received the keys to their spanking new house. A mother and her three young children ages eight, six and four will move into their own home this weekend and get much needed stability after not having a place of their own. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the handing over on Partridge Street Extension today and tells us more about how this house was gifted to the deserving family.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Jenny Pinelo and her three children are the recipients of this brand new house on Partridge Street Extension in Belize City. Today she received the keys to her new place which she hopes to move into over the weekend. Before this house, Pinelo didn’t own a home – as she explains, this structure represents stability for her family.

 

Jenny Pinelo

Jenny Pinelo, Home Owner

“I am excited, glad, happy, blessed and still thanking God very much.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is this something you had been wishing or hoping for?”

 

 Jenny Pinelo

“Long time, yes. I needed help with it, so sought it and found it and now I am here today.  I was here with my sister at times when don’t want to be here go to my mom and she always tell me ‘Jenny why don’t you build something in the front or the back of the yard?’ and   tell ah ‘ma III have to work and save.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you didn’t have your own home before this?”

 

Jenny Pinelo

“No. Just renting or being at home with my sister or my mom.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do you think this new home will impact your life; your kids’ lives; how will change your life?”

 

Jenny Pinelo

“Well, it will change it in a good way because at the end of the day we can say it is our own home. We can go to sleep thanking God, saying it is ours. So. It is going to be a good thing is changing our life.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are the reactions from your kids?”

 

Jenny Pinelo

“Well, they are excited. They keep asking ‘mommy, is that your home?’ I tell them, ‘yeah it is our home’ and she says “aww but I didn’t even know that.”

 

Pinelo’s home is free of cost thanks to Heritage Bank who partnered with the Hand in Hand Ministries. This house is the three-hundred and thirty-first structure to be done through the Hand in Hand Ministries. A wooden home, it comes fitted with a bathroom and other essentials for this young family.

 

Bernard Panton

Bernard Panton, Director of Building for Change Program, Hand in Hand Ministries

“The house is now a sixteen by twenty house. It has a bathroom inside and space for two bedrooms and it is fully painted and has aluminum windows which is more than what Hand in Hand gives at the very beginning; normally Hand in Hand just gives a regular house that comes without plumbing and electrical but as we work with different organizations they are the ones who decide what they gonna add to that.”

 

Pinelo’s house was built in three to four days by Hand in Hand Ministries, Heritage Bank’s employees and Pinelo’s family. Starting from ground up – the team constructed the floors, walls and put together the roof – they lifted, measured,  painted and hammered their way to this house that you see here. It a testament to the collaboration among all partners – starting with the Bank’s employees who committed to the cause with monies from their salaries.

 

Stacie Soberanis

Stacie Soberanis, HR Manager, Heritage Bank

“We agreed to do a dollar drive and so we had our own internal dollar drive happening and what that is, is that every person set aside a dollar from their salary every pay day to put towards some cause. When we told the bank about it, it was agreed that they would also help us with the venture that we were seeking to do. We learnt about what Hand in Hand Ministries was doing and we took up the opportunity to help them build the three hundred and thirty-first house. So our staff came together over the long weekend in October.   We learnt a lot about house building led by the Hand in Hand team and we worked right alongside with Ms Jenny. We are so happy to look at the house that resulted from that idea that we had earlier this year.   The work-site was so joyous. To me, I picked up a joyous energy from the staff. We were very in tuned to what we were doing in contributing to someone’s dream of owning a house.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, I believe this is Heritage Bank’s first house that they are doing with Hand in Hand Ministries. Is the staff looking to do something like this again?”

 

Stacie Soberanis

“Yes. Many of our staff members already expressed that this is something they would want to continue; seeing the result and being engaged in what was happening. We definitely think this is something we will be doing again.”

 

As a part of the donation, Pinelo has to meet some basic requirements of the program.

 

Bernard Panton

“The participant or the partner that we have to take part in a program that we have to actually go hand in hand with the building that on every first Saturday of every month they have to attend an education session; we give them basic skills like employability skills, parenting, hygiene – that is mandatory part of the bargain of them and they have to be around to help us build their house and other houses.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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