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Story - News

Nov 1, 2011 10:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Family Moves Into New Habitat For Humanity House On Quiogue

Nov 2, 2011 1:20 PM

The expression “home for the holidays” will have new meaning for one local family this year.

Meredith and Tory Taylor, and their children, Jordyn, 5, and Jasmine, 3, were all smiles on Friday afternoon as they attended the dedication ceremony for their new Habitat for Humanity home. Their renovated house, located on Peters Lane on Quiogue, is the 147th house that Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk has helped construct since 1988.

And it represents a dream come true for the Taylors, who have been living with Ms. Taylor’s mother, Janice Abrams, in Speonk for the past two years.

“This is very important to us, because we have a place where our children can grow up,” Ms. Taylor said.

Because the Habitat for Humanity program offers interest-free mortgages, the payments are affordable, allowing her family to still afford fun activities, such as camping and other excursions. “We don’t have to worry about struggling,” she said.

This month has been an exciting one for the Taylors—they were married on October 7. Although they have been engaged for years, Ms. Taylor said they waited to wed until they had a home of their own.

Her children, she said, are particularly excited about having their own bedrooms for the first time. Jasmine, who has slept in her brother’s bedroom—which had walls that are painted blue—plans to utilize pink and purple in her new bedroom; she also plans to incorporate a lot of “girly” décor.

Ms. Taylor, who is employed at Hamptons Medical Care in Hampton Bays, and her husband, a HVAC installer, first heard about the Habitat for Humanity program during a conversation with another Habitat homeowner that she met at work. After applying in April 2010, the couple attended a series of classes designed to teach prospective homeowners about maintaining positive credit, managing finances and other aspects of home ownership.

The Taylors were accepted as future Habitat homeowners in October 2010 and, a short time later, began their 300 mandated hours of work in helping build Habitat homes. Their investment of time is better known as “sweat equity.”

Even though the days were cold in January, when the couple began investing their sweat equity hours, Beth Reichert, the director of Habitat’s Suffolk family services, said the Taylors were enthusiastic about pitching in to help others. “They always had big smiles on their faces,” she said.

Friday’s dedication was especially moving, she added, because Ms. Taylor is a local woman whose family has ties to the community. “These are the opportunities for homeowners we strive to find,” she said.

Ms. Abrams, who grew up in Speonk—her husband was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut—said they were thrilled to learn that they would be placed in a Habitat for Humanity home that’s close to her family. The found out where their new home would be in May, on the fifth anniversary of the day they began dating.

“I believe it was meant to be,” Ms. Taylor said.

Of Friday’s dedication, Les Scheinfeld, the director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk, said: “This is a testament to what God can do.”

Suffolk County and Southampton Town donated the property on which the home sits. Formerly inhabited by a previous Habitat for Humanity family, the house was already built, so the bulk of work involved renovations.

Partnering to make the Taylors’ new home a reality were the Hamptons Interfaith Council, Riverhead Building Supply and a number of appliance companies. Labor and building supplies, appliances and services are donated when building or renovating Habitat for Humanity homes.

Clint Greenbaum of Westhampton Beach, who was representing the Hampton Synagogue, presented Ridgie Barnett, president of the Hamptons Interfaith Council, with a check for $5,000 toward future Habitat projects during Friday’s dedication ceremony.

“It takes a village,” Mr. Greenbaum said.

Girl Scout Colleen McKeown, a member of Troop 2607 in Babylon, is working on her Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. She presented the Taylor family with baskets of food and other supplies, such as mirrors and shelves, for their new home.

Before being handed the keys, Ms. Taylor, crying, thanked her family and everyone who had made their new home possible.

“It doesn’t feel real to us yet,” she said. “If it weren’t for all of you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you—this is a blessing.”

When asked about their holiday plans after Friday’s ceremony, Ms. Taylor said she and her husband only want to do one thing with their children: “Stay home.”

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May your home be filled with love and happiness. Congrats
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Nov 2, 11 2:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Must be nice to get everything for free. "Now we can go on vacation!"
By Spelling Cop (22), Southampton on Nov 3, 11 6:11 AM
They did not get anything "free", read the article - they are paying for their home. The type of petty resentment expressed in your post is what is wrong with America today.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Nov 3, 11 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
It is not free my daughters and i worked 4 ys building that house and we were there for some yrs before things went real bad you work hard for that house and we did but I lost it in the end... I hope the family that has the house enjoy it
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Nov 4, 11 6:34 PM
I agree with dagdavid!
By left eq (28), Southampton on Nov 3, 11 9:05 AM
Congratulations! Enjoy your new home.
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Nov 4, 11 5:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm so glad that this newspaper uses the traditional 'On' when referring to Quiogue, instead of the much less interesting 'In'.
By nutbeem (27), Westhampton on Nov 4, 11 1:10 PM
Maybe spelling cop should do their research on Habitat for Humanities. They do not give away FREE homes. We worked our buts off for this house and We still have a morgage, Insurance and taxes just like everyone else. Along with all the other bills. The only thing is, we have an interest free mortgage and worked extremely hard for this. Nothing in this world is free. We wanted this for our family and now it just gives us the opportunity to be able to enjoy life with our children instead of ...more
By taylorjj143 (3), westhampton on Nov 4, 11 4:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
@Spelling bee I'm sure you have done nothing for your community but bring a negative atmosphere around yourself. Open up your mind and heart to the world and the community! The Taylor's have worked hard and long and will not take this home and town fir granted. She has lived here all her life and is proud to be able to raise her children in the same community. Yours, if any probably ran far away from you!! @ taylorjj143 you guys rock!!! Congrats!! Hope your life continues to be blessed!!
By lovelyjay (1), Flanders on Nov 4, 11 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Spelling Cop is a jerk
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 4, 11 5:39 PM
I hope they enjoy my old house I lost due to and injury and the economy.. I waited 4 ys to get the house I hope they realize alot of love went into the house and i hope that they enjoy it as much asmy family would have Lots of luck and god bless BEST WISHES to this family
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Nov 4, 11 6:13 PM
hope this home is very happy for you and your family.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Nov 7, 11 6:47 PM
the home is not mine anymore unfortunetly I lost it and they gave it to someone else It still hurts so bad..I lost my home my family my job and my children my grandmother my mother and my son in law was shot.... So that is not a happy year for me... No celebration no life no love.. The pain is to much... I hope they r happy because I am not
By wpoole (14), westhampton beach on Nov 16, 11 11:36 AM