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Mona Gets the Keys to her New Home

by Paul Saulnier
November 19, 2017

Above center, Tim Firment, Director of Habitat for Humanity Metrowest/Greater Worcester, welcomed everyone to the dedication ceremony at 68 Chamberlain Street, Holliston. He thanked all the sponsors and volunteers who made possible this home for Mona Baptiste and her two boys.

About 75 people attended the dedication ceremony on Saturday, November 18, 2017

Above center, Bryan Clancy, Board President of Habitat for Humanity and Chairman of the Holliston Housing Trust, reviewed the four year history of the project, starting with an idea to put to good use land purchased by the town as part of a proposed town-wide sewerage system that was never completed. Town meeting voted to apply CPA funds and a committee was formed to coordinate the project and raise the remaining funds needed to build two modest homes on the lot.

That committee was chaired by Doug Schmidt, above left, and Todd Barber. Todd thanked the committee of 40 to 50 people, with a core group of about 20, who helped to bring Mona's dream to reality.

Above, Sue Crossley, Executive Director of Family Promise, gets a hug from Mona for helping her get into the lottery that Mona won. This home was actually won by Maggie Benjamin, pictured below. But offered her home to Mona and the boys since they were homeless and desperately needed a home. Maggie's home next door will be ready in the spring of 2018.


Selectman Mark Ahronian, above center, told of how Holliston really needs more affordable housing and welcomed The Baptiste family to Holliston.

Representative Carolyn Dykema presented the Baptistes with a proclamation from the House of Representatives and Senator Karen Spilka. Carolyn said that Holliston is most proud of its kids and hoped that Jason and Loressen would be two new leaders in the school system.

Ted Oxholm is the Site Supervisor for both homes. He thanked the many volunteers who worked on the homes,especially Mona, who completed 500 hours of sweat equity early on.

Sara Peters, above right, presented Mona with two gift baskets from the teachers at Miller School.

Reverend Bonnie Steinroeder, above, offered a prayer of thanks to whatever god those present believed in, after which, Mona was given a copy of the bible and the keys to her new home.

Mona thanked everyone for their help and welcoming spirit.



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Comments (3)

I would rather see the two nice modestly built homes going to two deserving families than some huge $800K+ home in my neighborhood. How much would the taxpayers have saved by selling this as probably one lot instead of two? And even if they sold it as two how much would we have saved per year? Pennies? Sometimes life is about more than money. It is thanksgiving so I am thankful that I can afford to live in a nice town with a good school system for my kids. I am also happy that two families that may not have had all the breaks I have in life will get to do the same.

- Bill | 11/21/17 1:55 PM

It's a very good cause, but I think spending taxpayer money to buy land for one purpose and then using it for something else is wrong. Do the people running this town know they are allowed to cut taxes? (not just raise them) Homelessness is a serious problem and there will be far more cases of it in town with this kind of leadership.

- James Pennypacker | 11/20/17 11:56 PM

Maggie (((( )))) Happy new life new Holliston neighbors!

- Kate | 11/19/17 9:50 AM



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