Habitat for Humanity of Trenton celebrates expansion

By Olympia Lagonikos

Habitat for Humanity of Trenton has broadened its scope by setting out to build its first home in Ewing, N.J. On the morning of Monday, Nov. 14, the brief 25-minute ceremony, which consisted of three speeches and a traditional toss of dirt, signified the beginning of the Habitat for Humanity of Trenton expanding into other townships in Mercer County.

Christopher Warkala, board president of Habitat for Humanity of Trenton, started the morning off by speaking about the Trenton, N.J., branch’s inclusivity.

“The need for safe, affordable housing is very great in all of Mercer County,” Warkala said.

After finishing seven homes in Trenton, Habitat for Humanity seems ready to broaden its range.

“This is a new beginning,” Warkala said.

Habitat for Humanity of Trenton partners with students at the College. (tcnj.edu)
Habitat for Humanity of Trenton partners with students at the College. (tcnj.edu)

Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Habitat for Humanity will build its first Ewing home on Robbins Avenue.

The four-bedroom, two-bath and 1,800-square-foot house will be made for a family with disabled needs. The blueprints designate wider doorways and two bedrooms conjoined by a wheelchair accessible bathroom. 

Having been national partners of Habitat for Humanity since 1996, Bloomberg has sponsored 28 builds nationwide.

Bloomberg representative Dennis Jordan proudly said the company has “instilled the art of giving back into the community,” since Bloomberg employees collectively volunteered 86,000 hours nationally.

Mayor Bert H. Steinmann of Ewing Township gave a speech on the kind and welcoming citizens of Ewing and their collective goal to reach a better community.

Steinmann informed those in attendance that there are “26 community homes for the mentally disabled, handicapped and those in need (in Ewing).”

Through Habitat for Humanity’s presence in Ewing, many more opportunities to offer housing for those in need will arise.

The project, which is set to begin soon, is only the beginning — plans to build at nearby houses and areas are already in the works.

Since Habitat’s previous projects were confined to Trenton, the meeting hosted a bit of a buzz about the extension into other communities in Mercer County.

“This is the beginning of a long relationship,” Steinmann said.

College alumnus Gulu Brewer (’14), Community Outreach director of Habitat for Humanity of Trenton, positively reflected on the expansion into Ewing. Brewer also emphasized the importance of student involvement and volunteer work in accordance with Habitat for Humanity.

The ceremonial tossing of the dirt was more than the beginning of the construction of a home. It was the start of helping Mercer County families in need.

Through Habitat’s diligence, the volunteers’ passion and community outreach, numerous Ewing families will soon be able to have a house they can call their own.

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