Michelle, Culic and her children, Tiana and Khayden, received the keys to their new home Wednesday, May 27, 2020, marking the completion of a housing project by Habitat for Humanity Okanagan. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Michelle, Culic and her children, Tiana and Khayden, received the keys to their new home Wednesday, May 27, 2020, marking the completion of a housing project by Habitat for Humanity Okanagan. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

A Vernon family has the keys to their new home, thanks to the work of Habitat for Humanity.

With the completion of the latest project by the non-profit housing organization, Michelle Culic and her two children, Tiana and Khayden, are now the residents of a refurbished house on 25 Avenue.

“This was our first build here in Vernon,” said Glory Westwell, board member and chair of Habitat for Humanity’s Okanagan chapter, adding the project was completed in partnership with Kindale Development Association and the Vernon and District Community Land Trust.

“We worked together in building this,” she said. “And we did it in nine months.”

On Wednesday, May 27, the Culic family was handed the keys outside the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

They then went to their new address to cut the ribbon on their front door.

“Generally families have about two years when they start from actually applying and qualifying and going through various interview processes to make sure that they’re the right fit for Habitat,” said Andrea Manifold, CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the Okanagan. “After that, they start a journey of contributing with their 500 service hours. It can take about two and a half years for somebody to come through.”

“This particular family has done very well on those hours,” Manifold said.

Families are selected for projects based on a list of criteria, such a minimum standard of earnings set by the Canada Revenue Agency, the ability to make mortgage payments and a manageable amount of debt.

Michelle Culic, who works around the corner from the refurbished home, said the past year and a half working with Habitat has been an uplifting experience.

“I got to know everybody so well, and I haven’t had a bad experience. They’ve all been amazing,” she said.

“It means a sense of stability and excitement that we are able to live together as a family as opposed to not having much of an option in the Okanagan.”

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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