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Habitat House
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Shiny new keys in hand, it was clear Jean-Pierre Nzambonimana and his family would be home for the holidays. John-Pierre, his wife, Beatrice, and their eight children are the latest to receive a new home on behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls, [South Dakota]. About 50 people crammed into the Nzambonimanas’ living room at a dedication ceremony Friday, when John-Pierre accepted the keys to the 1,800-square-foot, six-bedroom home at the corner of Switch Grass Trail and Sioux Boulevard in Brandon. “He says he is really very happy to be here.” Said Danis Manirakiza, a family friend, who spoke on behalf of Nzambonimana. “He feels they are now safe and they are with friendly people.”

Escaped Persecution

The Nzambonimana family escaped persecution in Rwanda seven years ago and were brought to Sioux Falls, said David Mendel, who also said the family lived with him before they were offered the Habitat home in April. To maintain their new home, John-Pierre and Beatrice will continue their jobs at the Sheraton Hotel. After putting in 400 hours of sweat equity helping to build the home and 100 hours toward home-owner education classes, the couple received a 30-year mortgage with no interest payments.

Construction began in April [2006] on the home that at normal market value would have sold for an estimated $150,000 to $200,000.

The Nzambonimana family’s home was built virtually free of charge thanks to an anonymous Brandon developer who donated the property, the East Minnehaha County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Habitat for Humanity and more than 800 volunteers.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity go to: http://www.habitat.org/

By Jonnie Tate Finn, printed in Argus Leader December 4, 2006.

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Reprinted with permission from Mid-America Outlook, February 2007. The original title was "Family of 10 Gets Habitat House." Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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