New Habitat home dedicated in Crestview

Dusty Ricketts
Crestview News Bulletin

Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County dedicated its 64th home during a ceremony last Friday.

Solitair Hutchins and her family stand outside their new home in Crestview.

Okaloosa County Habitat Board Chairman Tom McLaughlin helped hand over the keys to the homes new owner, Solitair Hutchins.

"Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey, from our late start until this very beautiful home everyone has helped us make," Hutchins wrote prior to the ceremony. "This will be the first home our twins will have where they can be free and be the energetic and playful children they are meant to be. We have never had a yard they could play in and now they can go in their own backyard and run until they can’t run anymore. ... This home means a stress free healthy environment for everyone under its roof. Thank you!"

Bernard Johnson (left), Gulf Power's Okaloosa and Walton counties manager, makes some remarks during a check presentation inside the new home of Solitair Hutchins in Crestview.

The new home is located on Bay Street in Crestview. Over 500 volunteers worked more than 2,000 hours to build this home under the supervision of Habitat construction managers Keith Brelia and Richard Davitt.

Habitat is currently finishing up another home next door to Hutchins' home, with the ceremony for it expected sometime next month.

State Rep. Patt Maney addresses the crowd at the dedication of the 64th Habitat for Humanity home in Okaloosa County.

"It is always so rewarding to attend an event like this," said McLaughlin, who in addition to being this year's Habitat chairman is a reporter with the Northwest Florida Daily News, a sister publication to the Crestview News Bulletin. "We see all of the hard work that has been done by the men and women of Habitat for Humanity, are able to thank our generous sponsors for their support and witness the outpouring of love from the community towards the incoming family.

"Nothing, though, beats seeing the happiness on the faces of the family receiving the tremendous gift of homeownership," he added.

Habitat for Humanity was formed in 1976 to help build affordable housing for people in need. The Okaloosa County branch of Habitat was established in 1991, with the first home being completed and dedicated two years later in Baker.