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United Methodist Church leads Habitat project

The Rev. Eric Fjeldal, of the United Methodist Church of New Canaan, led the dedication Dec. 9 of a newly constructed affordable home for a Bridgeport family that the local United Methodist community built in partnership with future homeowner Shana Curry and Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County.

The new home on Bridgeport's Laurel Court was sponsored and built with the financial donations and volunteer labor of a coalition of Fairfield County United Methodist churches, led by the United Methodist Church of New Canaan.

Construction of the three-bedroom home for Curry and her two children was made possible by a lead gift from an anonymous couple who attend United Methodist of New Canaan, which spearheaded a coalition of seven other United Methodist churches to raise additional funds as well as provide volunteer construction crews on site.

Joining UMC of New Canaan were First United Methodist of Greenwich, Golden Hill United Methodist Church, Huntington United Methodist Church, Nichols United Methodist Church, Rowayton United Methodist Church, United Methodist Church of Springdale and United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston.

"I am so grateful that we had this opportunity to continue building with Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County and help provide the affordable housing that is desperately needed by many hard-working, low-wage Fairfield County families," Fjeldal, who is also a member of Habitat CFC's board of directors, said in a release. "Thanks to our organizers, Rich Townsend and Hans Dijs, our New Canaan congregation has worked on site every month since January. It was great to see the fruits of our labors today and all we were able to do working with the other Methodist Coalition members who have been rotating through to join us as volunteers each month."

Curry currently lives with her two children, ages 8 and 5, in a cramped two-bedroom apartment on Bridgeport's East Side. The yard behind the building is often flooded, so it is difficult for the children to play outside. With their home nearing completion, Curry almost can't believe her dream is finally coming true. She will finally have a safe backyard and home they can call their own.

"We'll have our own foundation for the future and I can start working on my next goal, going to school to become a nurse," she said.

In late January, her new home will be completed and she will purchase it from Habitat CFC with a zero-percent interest, 30-year mortgage. In the meantime, she will continue working to complete her 500 volunteer hours with Habitat CFC as sweat equity in her home purchase.

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