Tears of Joy as young family attends groundbreaking for their Habitat home – built in partnership with Royal Homes – in Stayner

Tears of joy flow as a young family attend the groundbreaking for their Habitat home built in partnership with Royal Homes in Stayner.

As spring loomed, Rebecca’s voice filled with happy emotion. The young mother, standing beside her hard-working husband Jevin, embraced tears of joy and a cold March breeze as they held their little boys Teddy and Leo. “Thank you for helping us give our boys a home,” Rebecca said at a Saturday groundbreaking ceremony for Royal Homes’ 9th Habitat for Humanity project at various Ontario locations over six years. Leo and Teddy will have a home to call their own and a backyard to play in.

A foundation is coming to this site. A new custom home will be delivered by Royal Homes. The family’s cramped upper-level downtown apartment will be left behind once Royal delivers their new home in the coming weeks. The unthinkable is becoming a reality thanks to the ongoing partnership between Royal and Habitat for Humanity South Georgian Bay.

Klaas Jorritsma (Royal Homes, VP Operations), Joy Fleury (ED of Habitat for Humanity South Georgian Bay), Jevin (Teddy), Rebecca (Leo)

Two Habitat homes were built here on Quebec Street by Royal in 2019. Now, a third is coming for Jevin, Rebecca and their boys on John Street. “It means everything,” Rebecca said as local politicians joined dozens for the ceremony. “It’s a dream being realized that otherwise, without Habitat and Royal Homes, wouldn’t be possible. Just because of the market and stuff. It’s just not something we could really afford without this particular situation – being chosen and given affordable housing.”

Habitat-Royal Homes built on Quebec Street, 2019

Having Royal construct the prefab modules for the Habitat homes means their volunteers don’t have to work at heights and stay safe. It also ensures quality, said Habitat South Georgian Bay executive director Joy Fleury. “I think it saves us a ton of costs,” Fleury said. “Because, no offence, sometimes our volunteers do it and have to do it again and again. Royal does it right and it’s beautiful and sturdy.”

It’s also an efficient process, which means a lot to Habitat and the families waiting to move in. “The fact we can put a family in this home in the next 3-4-5 months is amazing,” said Jack Vanderkooy, the board chair for Habitat South Georgian Bay. “Our partner on these builds is Royal Homes. I want to thank them. It’s a modular home. It’s an amazing company. We’re so thankful for their working with us to make this actual build happen.”

Jack Vanderkooy and Joy Fleury

Fleury, like Rebecca, is a crier. She forecasts more happy tears on this project. “There’s going to be a lot of crying – just saying,” Fleury laughed. “If you think we’re crying now, just wait until we have the key ceremony and the dedication when you get the keys to your new house.” Jevin, a painter of windshields, can’t believe the pace of the project to help his family get their own home. Delivery day is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“It’s clockwork,” said Jevin, chatting with Klaas Jorritsma, Royal’s vice president of operations. “It seems like magic, almost.” Royal is also delivering another home for Habitat Huron County in Hensall in March.


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