Cooperative spirit brings a fresh start for family

Angela Jackson’s little girls can finally pick out their rooms thanks to a new Habitat for Humanity house in Redford — a home that was built with cooperative spirit.

“The home is the vital center of life for every family,” said Norman Yatooma, founder and president of Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids. “We appreciate the support of Habitat for Humanity, as our organization’s mission aligns with theirs to help the Jackson Family build a new life in a new home.”

It was just two months ago that Angela and her little girls were at the wall-raising ceremony.

“It’s wonderful,” said Jackson then. “It shows how much love there is in the world.”

Her late husband, Anthony, was killed while trying to help a stranger who had flagged him down on the freeway. The woman told Anthony she had been beaten up by a man and needed a ride to her sister’s house. He said he would help and wound up paying with his life. The man caught up with Anthony’s car and beat him to death on Oct. 4, 2009.

The family struggled to cope with his death and finances proved difficult. Help came from the Yatooma Foundation — a Birmingham charity that helps children who have lost a parent.

The foundation helped pay living expenses and got Jackson in touch with the right people at Habitat for Humanity — a connection that led to a new house and fresh start in Redford.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Monday at the Berwyn street residence to coincide with World Habitat Day.

The organization promotes it as a day for all people to unite in the effort to eradicate poverty housing.

“We are grateful to partner with Redford Township and Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids to dedicate this home on a significant day not only for Habitat for Humanity but for the Jackson family as October 4 marks the day before the one year anniversary of the death of Mr. Jackson,” said Alice Dent, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Western Wayne County. “We hope this joyous occasion will restore some happiness in their lives as they reflect on the love displayed by the many volunteers, the Foundation and the Redford community,”

Dozens of Habitat for Humanity volunteers helped build the 1,200-square-foot house as well as Angela and her family.

Redford Township picked up the tab for construction using SNAP Funds (Stabilizing Neighborhood Action Plan) allocated from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Mike Dennis, Redford Township community development director, said the effort to bring stability back to the housing market is paying off. By rehabilitating dilapidated houses and in this case, building a new house, the township is helping turn the tide on dropping housing prices.

“It’s been an honor to work with Habitat for Humanity Western Wayne County affiliate to build our first venture, and we look forward to starting our next project soon,” Dennis said.

Redford Township and Habitat for Humanity expect to build another house in the south end this fall.

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