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800 families, 800 homes, Habitat for Humanity celebrates huge milestone

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 12, 2024

BALTIMORE — Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is celebrating a milestone.

Eight hundred homes.

Some new. Some newly renovated. All going to deserving families. Including families of one, like Thom Mozdenski.

"I was living in a rundown mice- and roach-infested apartment that should have been condemned, not knowing how I was going to afford a better place to live,” Mozdenski says. “I never imagined that I would be given the opportunity to own my own home."

Mozdenski said he thought Habitat's homeownership program was just for families with children. A coworker encouraged him to apply.

“I'm grateful this program helps those of us who are single,” he says.

Four townhomes were dedicated Wednesday in the 1100 block of Church Street in Curtis Bay.

Among the new homeowners is Kanieka Neal and her two-year-old son. She moved to the area four years ago for a new job.

“With the help of this program, donors and volunteers, I am able to give my son a home where he can grow, laugh and continue holiday traditions,” Neal says.

The homes are sitting on what was a wooded lot. Community members say that attracted all the wrong things. Now, they say they're excited about what the new homes mean for their community.

Meleny Thomas works for the South Baltimore Community Land Trust, one of Habitat Chesapeake’s partners in developing the Church Street homes. She’s also a member of the Curtis Bay Community Association.

“This community has long been disinvested and now we're bringing investment and we're starting to see other investment, so we're really excited about these homes, the community members and the people that are going to live here,” Thomas says.

Deborah Dallas agrees. She pastors the church directly across the street. She and a few church members welcomed the new neighbors with gifts and hugs.

“So happy to have them here,” Dallas says. “Like I told all them today, you may be neighbors today but I embrace you as our family.”

Habitat Chesapeake also celebrated two new homes in Pigtown. They were completed earlier this year. Mozdenski lives in one of those homes.

“I'd like to say how much I love my house,” he says. “I've always wanted a townhome in the city ever since I was a little boy. My rowhome is gorgeous, and it looks like it's built to last.”

Volunteers are busy putting the finishing touches on five more townhouses on the Curtis Bay site. They will be ready in August.