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Cornelius News

Two new Habitat owners get house keys this week

Bill Barrera

Feb. 28. By Dave Vieser. It’s an exciting week on Psalms Street as two Cornelius families move into their new homes and become next-door neighbors. Both moves were made possible by Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

The first was Tuesday when Lameikia Brice and her two children moved into her new home at 9744 Psalms. This will be a major step forward for Brice who has been sharing her late grandmother’s three-bedroom home with five other adults. Brice, daughter Hazel and son C.J. will each have their own bedroom in their new Habitat home.

On Thursday, Bill Barrera, age 52, a father of four, will receive the keys to his new home located next door at 9748 Psalms. For Barrera, it’s a second chance at life and homeownership. His life changed dramatically eight years ago when he had a severe stroke.  He spent three months in the hospital recovering and rehabbing from the stroke, which left him having to learn how to walk, talk and drive again. Prior to his stroke, Barrera was an executive, who owned four homes, but the stroke left him financially ruined.

Habitat officials said having new owners move in adjacent to each other has happened in the past. “Since we typically build in Our Towns neighborhoods, we have lots of next-door neighbors, many of whom helped build each other’s homes…though I’m not sure if we’ve ever had dedications for next-door neighbors so close in dates before,” said spokeswoman Erin McCloskey.

Both Brice and Barrera have contributed 400 sweat equity hours and attended homeownership classes to receive the keys to their new homes.