CNJ Photo: Eric Kluth
Karen Banister, right, talks with project manager Monte Graham after the dedication for the first Habitat House in Clovis Tuesday at 917 Hinkle Street. Banister will move into the house with her two granddaughters.
Tonya Garner: CNJ Staff Writer
Struggling to hold back tears, Karen Banister sat tightly clutching her infant granddaughter, Brooke, as fellow church members, friends, and volunteers from Habitat for Humanity gathered Tuesday for a house dedication.
Banister became the owner of a four-bedroom stucco home, which is the first built by Habitat for Humanity in Curry County. “It just takes my breath away,” she said. “I thank the Lord for this blessing.”
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness.
According to the widowed Banister, she plans to move into the house with her daughters, Scarlett, 17, and Samantha, 10. Banister said Scarlett was unable to attend due to school responsibilities.
Samantha attended the event with her mother but was obviously overwhelmed by the crowd of well-wishing strangers. She spent the majority of the time hidden behind her mother, who was hiccupping from the effort to hold in her tears. “She is very shy,” Banister said. “and she is overwhelmed by the crowd and her first real home.”
Banister and her daughter were presented a Bible and the keys to her new home by Habitat for Humanity representatives during the dedication.
Joyce Davis, executive director of Habitat for Humanity, said construction began in May and was completed in about 12 weeks. She said Cumbre Construction, Inc., of Albuquerque was kind enough to lend them Monte Graham for the duration of the project who served as project manager.
“Cumbre Construction and I loved being a part of this,” Graham said. “It was really neat.”
Graham said he is so happy to see Clovis do something for someone who deserves it. “This is so good for the community,” Graham said.