Habitat officials dedicate new home

PARKERSBURG – A family’s dream came true Sunday as Wood County Habitat For Humanity dedicated its 67th house for a young family looking to build a life together.

A number of Habitat officials, volunteers, family and friends came Sunday to 1300 Dillaway St. in Parkersburg to dedicate the home of Michael Oyler and Kayla Corbin and their young daughter, Braelyn Oyler.

“It has been a blessed partnership,” said Alvin Phillips, executive director for Wood County Habitat For Humanity. “We look forward to many more years of watching them enjoy this home.”

Construction on the house started in June.

Phillips said this was the first sponsored home Habitat had done in awhile with sponsoring it by donating $12,000 to help fund construction of the house. WVCCU also allowed its employees time off from work, with pay, to help with construction efforts.

“I don’t know if you were around in during the first weekend in June, but we had people swarming all over this lot getting the house built,” Phillips said.

Mike Tucker, CEO of the credit union, talked about the dedication put into the home’s construction.

“It has been a real privilege and an honor to be able to help work on this home and help build this home for such a wonderful family,” he said. “We pray to God that this house is filled with love and happiness.”

Phillips credited Tucker with the amount of work he personally put into the project when volunteers were getting the roof raised. He also thanks Habitat West Virginia for contributing money to the project.

Habitat uses volunteer labor, donations and donated materials and land to keep homes affordable for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to own their own homes through conventional means. Habitat homebuyers are required to attend homebuyer education classes and complete “sweat equity” hours in working on a number of local Habitat projects as well as their own. The homeowners pay a zero-percent interest mortgage to buy the house from Habitat.

Although this is the 67th house started by Wood County Habitat in the area, numbers 65 and 66 have not been completed yet and are expected to be done soon, officials said.

In the house blessing, the Rev. Brian Harrell of the nearby Liberty Street Church of God talked about how the builders built the foundation of the house, but it is up to the family to build a solid foundation in their lives.

“A lot of people worked on this house and I know your foundation is strong,” he said. “This is a nice strong house for you.

“What you guys do as a couple and as a family, you have to build another foundation that only you can do. Nobody is going to see you do it, but we will see the results if you do it. You will stand strong if you do it God’s way.”

Harrell also talked about the desire of many people to help improve the area.

“We are building up this area,” he said. “We want you to have a real positive place right here.

“You are part of our neighborhood now.”

Presentations were made to the family including the home’s keys, a Bible, a basket of books for Braelyn. The Zion Baptist Church Children’s Church was recognized for raising $250 to purchase all of the doorknobs throughout the house through Habitat’s Dollars For Doorknobs program. Local photographer Michele Coleman donated a family portrait to the family.

Michael Oyler said it felt great to finally be able to move into their new home.

“It is a great feeling,” he said.

Kayla Corbin, who was overcome with emotion, was unable to speak during the ceremony, but said later she was thankful to everyone who helped build the house.

“It is very exciting, just being able to move my daughter into a secure home,” she said. “I cannot thank everyone enough.”