Local family’s hard work leads to new Habitat home, furnishings by Randolph Foundation

April 13, 2024 | 12:14 am

Updated April 12, 2024 | 6:28 pm

Photo by Ryan Richardson

Habitat for Humanity program participants must put in 350 sweat equity hours — time spent helping in any and all parts of the build process — before receiving the keys to their new home. April Carlisle and her family put in nearly 600. And thanks to the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation, Carlisle’s residence was fully furnished when they walked through the door to their new home for the first time Friday — filling them deeply with gratitude and leaving them nearly speechless.

Carlisle will reside in the home with her children Eli and Hannah, her nephew Hunter, and her mother Katherine Bullard. After a tour of the home, Carlisle sat with happy tears on her new bed beside her mother. 

“It’s been amazing,” she said of the journey. “We never expected anything close to this. It’s truly a blessing. I’m just kind of speechless.”

Bullard added that it was tough to keep up with Habitat’s requirements, but the entire family always pitched in to see the project through to completion. 

This marks the first home Carlisle has owned. Without getting specific, Habitat Executive Director Jeremy Stephens said the family’s previous living arrangements were “not good.”

Stephens was especially proud of how hard the family worked as they progressed through the Habitat homeownership program. Of their more than 200 extra sweat equity hours, he said, “That’s just a testament that they were willing to do what it took.”

Typically, new Habitat homes are unfurnished, something of which Stephens tells families to be mindful as they approach the end of the program. But for the second time, Habitat partnered with the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation to fully furnish the residence.

The foundation aims to provide disadvantaged families with a hand up — not a hand out — to improve their living conditions. The foundation’s H.U.T.S. program partners with First  Baptist Church in Owensboro to secure beds, mattresses, bedding, and bibles for family members.  

Alma Randolph, founder and president of the Foundation, applauded Carlisle and Bullard because they saved their money to purchase new mattresses and box springs on their own. That allowed the foundation to use those funds to purchase other furnishings and decorations they don’t typically buy. 

“I just think that speaks to their character and how they were determined to do everything that they could to complete this project,” Randolph said. “They have worked so hard to improve their quality of life and achieve their dream of homeownership with Habitat’s Homeownership Program.”

Carlisle said it was “a big surprise” when she found out the home would be furnished. 

Stephens said he was delighted to break the news to them a few months ago.

“We tell them along the way to be prepared if they’re looking at putting new stuff in their home and to be saving for it,” he said. “It’s a pretty magical moment when I get to tell them ‘I’ve got some great news for you and it’s gonna lift up all this other stuff off your shoulders so that you can focus on other things.’”

The home marked the foundation’s 75th project with the H.U.T.S. Program and was Habitat’s 160th house in the community.  

“This incredible community we live in never ceases to amaze,” Stephens said. “If you want to feel good about the world we live in, just look around Owensboro-Daviess County and you’ll see remarkable acts of love and kindness. When those of us with common missions work together, the entire community benefits. This type of partnership shows the best in our organizations and allows us to use our strengths to better the world we live in. I am thrilled for our Habitat family to have a new home furnished with everything they will need to live a safe and comfortable life.”

April 13, 2024 | 12:14 am

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