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STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER Chris Turrell, left, of Endless Mountains Habitat for Humanity hands over the keys last Tuesday (Oct. 30) of a house on Walnut Ridge Road, Mehoopany, to new owners, the Pavlichko family, from left, Stella, mom Kristy, dad Mike, and Scarlett.

Just about every Saturday since June 30, Kristy and Mike Pavlichko have spent their time working on a home.

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, thanks to their sweat equity and the generous efforts of Endless Mountains Habitat for Humanity, the Pavlichkos with daughters Scarlett and Stella recently took possession of their very own home.

The couple were presented the keys to their new home on Walnut Ridge Drive by Chris Turrell, president of the local Habitat for Humanities’ board of directors.

Turrell and other Habitat volunteers held a ceremony, welcoming the new family into their new residence.

“We can build a house,” Turrell said to the couple, “but it’s up to you to make it a new home. Congratulations.”

This particular Habitat home was a rehabbed home - where the Pavlichkos, both Tunkhannock Area High School graduates from 2012, saw with their own eyes damage by a previous owner and learned in some instances what not to do.

EMHFH homes typically have three bedrooms with a kitchen, one bath and a full basement.

In this case, they tore out old carpet, scrubbed baseboards, “you name it,” Kristy said.

They moved in the next day after the welcoming ceremony, and a few days later on Sunday, Kristy said, “It feels great to be in our forever home.”

Their first night in the new home, Kristy said she had trouble sleeping because it was hard take it all in.

She said that both she and Mike moved around a lot growing up in their separate households and they were glad that would not have to be the case for their growing daughters.

Kristy also acknowledged it was nice not to have to deal with a landlord, and their daughters could play in the yard, “which was a plus.”

She said she was “forever grateful” to the Habitat organization for providing their new home and in the spirit of Thanksgiving planned to express their gratitude every opportunity they could get.

On hand last Tuesday at the key transfer ceremony was volunteer Dottie Ashmore, who told of how the concept of Habitat for Humanity started on Koinonia Farm, a community farm located near Americus, Ga. The farm was founded by farmer and Biblical scholar Clarence Jordan, who eventually went into partnership with Millard and Linda Fuller.

Jordan and the Fullers developed a concept of ‘partnership housing,’ to provide decent housing to those who otherwise could not afford it, Ashmore said.

Turrell praised the efforts of the volunteers who worked on the house’s rehabilitation - including Dottie Ashmore and her husband George, John Voda, Mike Lloyd, Paul Schwarztrauber, Ward Smith, and Lew Hopfer.

Turrell emphasized that although the construction is performed strictly on a volunteer basis, many of the volunteers are retired professional builders who bring their expertise to the projects.

Turrell noted that Habit atfor Humanity also requires those who will eventually take possession of the house to perform at least 200 hours of ‘sweat equity’ on the project.

He said Habitat for Humanity offers a hand up, not a hand out. Home owners are selected on the basis of need, ability to pay a small mortgage and willingness to partner with Habitat.

Home owners are selected through a rigorous process which begins with submitting an application. He said the group hoped to have an application information night at the Tunkhannock Library before the end of the year.

EMHFH is required to verify information and conduct credit checks and criminal checks on every adult who would live in an HFH house.

Although this is the first rehabbed home in the Habitat family of homes in Wyoming County, Turrell said he thought there were some homes in the Nicholson area in need of rehabilitation which might be added in the next go round.

If interested, send an email at and tell the EMHFH folks that you are interested in applying for the next Habitat Home in Wyoming County. You will be put you on a mailing list, and be sure to be notified when the new application process begins.