House becomes a home
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent May 8, 2013 12:58PM
Linda Cobb of Gary(Left) talks over the final details of her new home with Construction Manager Scott Cearing of Dyer(Right) before the Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana Home Dedication in the basement of the house in Gary on Wednesday. Jeff Addison ~ Sun-Times Media
Linda Cobb danced the dance of joy as a new homeowner April 24 when Habitat for Humanity executive director Daniel Klein placed the key to her home during a home dedication ceremony in Gary.
“We were in Crown Point earlier in the day so she could sign the papers and I handed her the keys then … but I took them back to do a rightful ceremony at her house,” Klein said with a laugh.
Cobb, Klein, Habitat volunteers and staff joined Cobb’s family and friends in the new basement of the refurbished home in the 600 block of Tyler Street. “This is God’s house because it is only by the glory of God that all of you were brought together to make this come true for me,” Cobb said.
The house is less than 10 years old, with three bedrooms, a bath, a spacious kitchen and living and dining room spaces.
“I will turn one of the bedrooms into a TV room and office,” Cobb said while giving a tour.
Cobb’s new home comes 13 months after contacting Habitat for Humanity, then going through classes, workshops and volunteering projects.
She said that would not have happened if one of her closest friends, Vercena Stewart, not seen an ad in the newspaper about Habitat for Humanity.
“Vercena told me about Habitat refurbishing homes and looking for family partnerships. I had not even heard of Habitat for Humanity,” Cobb said.
Cobb added that she’d been praying for a change in her life after going through a divorce eight years ago.
“I did not have anywhere to stay,” she said. “And then a year after my divorce, I was fired from my job so now I was broke. My sister Jackie allowed me to move in with her. I was unemployed for six years but she let me stay.”
“The Lord spoke to me and told me to desire owning a home … and two mortgage companies turned me down and I was giving up,” Cobb said. “Vercena never stopped praying for me.”
The dedication ceremony included a Bible presentation with a gift card inside, the blessing of the house and gospel singing from two more friends, Collette Terrell and Brenda Moore.
Habitat construction manager Scott Cearing of Dyer worked with many volunteers refurbishing the house.
“There is no greater feeling that I enjoy than to see the happiness on families’ faces when their new home is complete,” he said.
He joined the Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana 10 months ago but has worked in construction for 40 years.
Cobb said she will have an open house in June. “I am inviting everyone back!”