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Groundbreaking for new Habitat home

Tim Ruggles, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County's executive director/CEO, introduces Shannon Chatman and her children Chance, JoJo, and Izzy at the groundbreaking. Photo by Phil Custodio. (click for larger version)
August 06, 2014 - Work is underway on Shannon Chatman's new family home in Springfield Township, with the help of My Habitat Clarkston.

She joined in with family, friends, and volunteers with the Habitat group, Aug. 4, to kick off the project, building a house from the ground up.

"Owning a Habitat home is truly life-changing," Chatman said. "I appreciate your hard work and willingness to partner with me on creating a home for my family. I plan on achieving my master's degree and starting a college fund for my children."

A veteran of the United States Army and Army National Guard, she has a bachelor's degree in psychology and works full-time for Bethany Christian Services in Madison Heights. Escaping an unhealthy relationship, she has moved three times in six years before applying for a Habitat home.

"Finally having a safe, secure and stable home to raise my family will give me peace of mind and set my children on the path to success," she said.

"What I like about Shannon is her commitment to hard work – not only as a working, single mother, but as someone who sacrificed for our country," said Grant Smith, My Habitat Clarkston's honorary chairperson and Clarkston State Bank president and CEO. "We are not handing this home to Shannon and her kids – she is pre-qualified for a no-profit mortgage, will spend 300 man hours to provide 'sweat equity' and she will buy her home with some initial help from her new Clarkston community."

"The Habitat movement in your Clarkston/Davisburg area, now with the support of your community bank, makes it clear that you will be making your habitat a better place to live for many years to come," said Tim Ruggles, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County's Executive Director/CEO. "For Mr. Smith to stand with a movement that joins its members together just echoes what a stellar community you can find in north Oakland County."

Clarkston State Bank's core tenets are its customers and its community, Smith said.

"It's a privilege to move forward to empower our neighbors and provide ongoing economic development in our communities," he said.

This build is budgeted at $130,000 for the purchase of land and materials for a "ground up" construction this summer.

"This is a great opportunity to work side by side with Shannon as she makes her dream of homeownership a reality. There is always room for more neighbors to get involved in strengthening this community," Ruggles said.

Consumers Energy is currently matching online donations at .50 cents for every dollar by logging onto, click Home Run for Habitat and select team member My Habitat Clarkston for donations to go directly to the Chatmans' home. Donate, volunteer or learn more at, or call248-338-1843.

– Phil Custodio

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