Muneerah Shabazz, left, and Brisa Gentle show off the keys to their new homes during the Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony Thursday. The
Muneerah Shabazz, left, and Brisa Gentle show off the keys to their new homes during the Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony Thursday. The organization built two homes on West Poplar Street as part of a federal program. (Eyana Adah McMillan)

Muneerah Shabazz and her mother, Marie Mosley, cried as they embraced.

Mosley welcomed her daughter to the West Poplar Street neighborhood where Habitat for Humanity dedicated its 106th and 107th homes Thursday in York County.

Shabazz, 27, is the new homeowner at 1214 W. Poplar St., just a few doors down from her mother's home.

"Easter dinner is on you this year," Marie Mosley said.

"And I'm coming over," chimed in Brisa Gentle, 33, the new owner of Habitat's home at 1212 W. Poplar St.

The project: Gentle's and Shabazz's homes were the last two built as part of Habitat's four-home project that was part of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The program was administered through the York County Planning Commission, which received $2 million in federal funds towards housing

development in local neighborhoods.

The two other homes were built in Hanover and Red Lion, said Miles Fishel, Habitat's director of development.

The four-home project began in 2009 when Habitat received $505,000 from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Thursday's dedication of the two West Poplar Street homes marks the project's completion.

For Gentle's and Shabazz's homes, Habitat needed additional funds for material and labor costs and received that help from St. Onge Co. and York Technical Institute.

Many thanks: During the dedication, both Gentle and Shabazz thanked the community for completing their three-story homes through financial donations and volunteer work.


"It's a beautiful experience," Gentle said. "This is a great beginning for me as a new homeowner. I worked with great people."

Habitat houses are built with help from volunteers to keep mortgage costs down. Home candidates must complete 200 hours of sweat equity, or volunteer work, to help build their residence or another Habitat house.

They also must go through financial training and other new homeowner programs to prepare for taking on a 30-year mortgage and meeting other household needs.

Because Habitat holds the mortgage, the homeowners pay no interest. Mortgage payments are used to help fund other Habitat projects.

The families: Gentle said she plans to continue volunteering with Habitat. She is a phone technician at Insurance Solutions and a business administration student at Harrisburg Area Community College-York Campus. She has two daughters, Breanna, 8, and Shiloh, 4.

Shabazz is studying dental hygiene at HACC. She is a pharmacy technician at CVS pharmacy on Richland Avenue. She has a son, Nasir, and two daughters, Nyiera, 5, and Maliah, 2.

Shabazz said she was impressed by volunteers' commitment to work on her home.

"They didn't have to be here," she said. "They were coming here on their day off just to paint. It's a family."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at