Legislators hand over keys to Habitat for Humanity home

By Abrahm Hurt

INDIANAPOLIS — Eight years after becoming interested in a Habitat for Humanity house, Ebony Duffy and her 8-year-old daughter received the keys to their new home on Friday morning.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, speaks during the Home Blessing for the Duffy family. Legislators and volunteers constructed wall panels on the Statehouse lawn in March. Photo by Abrahm Hurt, TheStatehouseFile.com

“This house had a special beginning on the grounds of the Statehouse, but this outstanding young family is who will leave the most meaningful mark on this home,” House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said in a statement.

The Indiana General Assembly teamed up with Habitat for Humanity as its charity of the year. In March, more than 160 volunteers worked alongside 60 legislators to construct the house frame on the Statehouse grounds, which aimed to generate awareness of the need for low-income Hoosiers to receive affordable housing.

When Duffy first applied for Habitat for Humanity housing, she didn’t have enough income to qualify for the program. But after finding a new job and working on her credit score, she decided to try again last year.  

She said that she’s grateful to have the support of Habitat for Humanity and the General Assembly, especially as a single mom.

John Shebesh, construction superintendent for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis, gives the house keys to the Duffy family. The home features three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Photo by Abrahm Hurt, The StatehouseFile.com

“I wasn’t expecting it would be like this at all,” she said during the building day at the Statehouse. “But to be surrounded by so many people that really do care is truly a blessing.”

Bosma and Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, both spoke at the home blessing celebration.

Bosma said during the building process he saw legislators and staff members transform.

“Some hadn’t touched a hammer perhaps except to pound a yard sign in some place,” he said.

Merritt said this house would bring new life to the community and its surrounding area.

“This is a celebration of a new start in life for this area, and I am so pleased,” he said. “We have made an effort- statewide- probably something around $16 to $20 million dollars on taking down structures or rehabbing them.”

Legislators and volunteers constructed wall panels on the Statehouse lawn in March. Photo provided by House Speaker Brian Bosma’s office.

Bosma said it was a privilege to partner with Habitat for Humanity in helping the Duffy family.

“It’s been my experience that while the served receive a great gift, those who are serving receive an even greater one,” Bosma said.

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


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