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The House the OBA Built – A Visit with a Habitat Homeowner

(Nov. 1, 2019) – Fourteen years ago, volunteers from the Oklahoma Bar Association were instrumental in building a Habitat home for single mom Sharie Northington. In a recent issue of The Oklahoma Bar Journal, Northington shared how becoming a homeowner forever transformed her family’s lives for the better.
The following is from that article written by Laura Wolf, an OBA communications specialist.

A Look Back A The Justice House Project

  • The Jim Gassaway Justice House was named in honor of 1971 OBA President Jim Gassaway who passed away in May 2005.
  • OBA President Michael D. Evans spearheaded the fundraising while Vice President Rick Bozarth focused on recruiting construction volunteers.
  • The OBA committed to raising $65,000 to fund the construction of the house. The final amount raised was $75,000. The additional $10,000 went to funding other Habitat for Humanity of Central Oklahoma projects in the area.
  • The house was completed in 14 work days spread out over two months of construction.
  • About 150 members from across the state participated in the six-hour work days.

From November 2005 OBJ: Evie Gassaway (second from left) and OBA President Mike Evans present the OBA’s gift of an heirloom clock to the Northington family. Mrs. Gassaway is the widow of Past President Jim Gassaway, for whom the Justice House was named.

To many, a house is more than just four walls: it is the stream of memories created there with family and friends. For Sharie Northington, the house she has called “home” for the past 14 years is even more special.
“Life changed when we got this house,” Ms. Northington said. “Life changed to where I felt like I should continue to strive for success, to not give up. Having someone believe in me helped me get better morals and goals in life.”
Nov. 3, 2005, was the first day that Ms. Northington and her two children, Davion (DJ) and Aubriana, were able to officially call the Jim Gassaway Justice House their “home.” DJ was 9 years old and Aubriana was 6.
“My son remembers the struggle from before,” Ms. Northington said, describing the life they left behind in their old neighborhood. “You know south Oklahoma City, it isn’t the best area. We lived on what was essentially ‘Gang Street.’ That’s what I called it. This house allowed me to break the cycle and get my kids away from that environment.”
Owning her own home allowed Ms. Northington the opportunity to set goals for herself and for her children.
“I told both of my kids they had to work hard to get a scholarship and go to college,” she said. “I told my son he had better get an athletic scholarship if he couldn’t get an academic one. Even now, my daughter gets all A’s in college.”

Family ready for ‘fresh start’ with new house from Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Amber Stricklen is used to helping others, now it’s her turn. The single mom has been raising four kids and holding down a full-time job. After a devastating year, she’s about to help build a new Habitat for Humanity home.

Fox 25 News Publication

Central Oklahoma Habitat For Humanity Dedicates 900th Home

7-Eleven and ClimateMaster to be Recognized for Community Partnerships

MOORE, OKLA (October 12, 2017) – Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity (COHFH) celebrates the dedication of its 900th home build at 2 p.m., today, October 12. During the home dedication, COHFH CEO & Chairman Ann Felton Gilliland will give the house keys to future Habitat homeowner and single mother Annette Henderson and her three children.

Central Oklahoma Habitat Honors Deceased U.S. Army Veteran for Largest Donation in Organization’s History

Honoring America’s Warriors’ Honor Guard to conduct his memorial at Legacy Estates addition

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 29, 2017) – Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity (COHFH) will honor and memorialize deceased U.S. Army retiree Sergeant 1st Class E7, Stephen Florentz in a special ceremony at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 29, at the Legacy Estates addition in Oklahoma City. Florentz made the single largest donation in COHFH’s history. Through a trust, Florentz left the non-profit his home and $2.25 million dollars.

“Stephen Florentz’s gift will not only build 25 homes at Legacy Estates, it will forever change the lives of 25 hardworking families,” said Ann Felton Gilliland, CEO & Chairman of Central Oklahoma Habitat. “Words cannot express how grateful we are for this tremendous gift.”

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OKC Non-Profits Partner to Build Homes for Veterans

Oklahoma City, OK (November 24, 2015)  Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity (COHFH) and Honoring America’s Warriors have partnered to build up to 25 homes for veterans in the Oklahoma City area.  The two non-profits will pool resources to provide opportunities for new home ownership for veterans who qualify based on HUD income requirements.  Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity wanted to meet the needs of veterans who deal with the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life, and who are on a limited income.  The program is called “Homes for Warriors”.