Home At Last
Home at Last, a the special project of West Orange Habitat for Humanity, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, was the idea of William C. Criswell, a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy Seabees. West Orange Habitat for Humanity established the project in 2007 to meet the special housing needs of permanently disabled combat wounded veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. The project is dedicated to presenting at least one mortgage-free home each year to a veteran. The projects are completed entirely by donations and in-kind contributions of construction labor and materials.
William C. Criswell, Founder and Chairman; William T. Curdts, Home at Last Co-Chairman, John Russo, Construction Manager, Gary Atwil, Events Planning. Jim McQuillan, Fundraising .
2008- The first home was built for U. S. Army Sergeant Joshua Cope and family. Wounded in Iraq, SGT. Cope lost both legs above the knee in a roadside IED explosion, which killed three of his comrades. The home was completed and dedicated Nov. 22, 2008 in Oakland, Fla.
2009- The second home was built for U.S. Army SPC Marcus Griffin and family. SPC Griffin was seriously injured in a house-to-house search in the small village of Buquaba in Iraq. The home was completed and dedicated on December 5, 2009 in Oakland, Florida,
2010- The third home was built for U.S. Army Sergeant Major Patrick Corcoran and his family. On August 13, 2009, SGM Corcoran suffered multiple serious injuries from an IED explosion in Afghanistan. The most debilitating injury was to his spinal column, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. A flag raising and home dedication ceremony was held June 4, 2011 in Oakland, Florida.
2011- The fourth home will be built for Sgt.(R) Jeffery Kelly and his family .Sgt. Kelly served three tours of duty in Iraq and in 2008 ,while traveling in a convoy, sustained seriously leg injuries in a RPG and mortar attack. Site selection and planning are underway.
2012- The fifth home –Veteran selection and planning underway.
Mortgage free, accessible homes for combat wounded disabled veterans in appreciation for his/her service and sacrifice to our Country
For battle-weary wounded soldiers, sailors, marines, or airmen, who have experienced the horrors of war first-hand, being Home at Last has its own special meaning. To those who wait – wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers – the long period of worry and anxiety for the safety of their loved ones ends when they are Home at Last. To the young son or daughter –gleefully jumping into the arms of a father or mother screaming, “I love you! I’ve missed you! You really are Home at Last” has to be a welcome home a parent will long remember. Home at Last was chosen as the project’s name because it portrayed the vision for this special project.
It is the fervent hope that each of the approximately 1,700 Habitat affiliates in the U.S. will be moved to build their own Home at Last project. Being part of helping a wounded warrior family restart their lives is an honor, privilege, and a rewarding experience they will never regret or forget.
Questions: Send an email to HomeAtLast@westorangehabitat.org