Bishop McConnell will hold a blessing for a Sharpsburg Habitat house, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 13, 2013) – On Saturday, a ceremony at a Sharpsburg Habitat house will celebrate a renewed partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, led by its new bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell.

This is the second time the Episcopal Diocese is sponsoring a Faith Build with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh in Sharpsburg. The partner family selected for this house is the third refugee immigrant family Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh has partnered with. The diocese also sponsored a Faith Build in Sharpsburg in 2010 for a Somali immigrant family.

The family moving into this house is an immigrant family from a refugee camp in Tanzania. Originally from Burundi, the father and mother were displaced by Civil War in 1972, forcing them into the refugee camp where their five children were born. The family now lives in an overcrowded apartment located in Northview Heights, a public housing project known for incidents of violence. Although both parents work, language and cultural barriers limit their access to living-wage jobs, making it a challenge to provide for their family. By partnering with Habitat, the family hopes to fulfill their dream of owning a home that can be passed down to their children and the generations to come. The father, Issa, works at Omni William Penn Hotel and the mother, Beuline, works at Giant Eagle. The family will pay a mortgage to Habitat between $450-550 for a 5-bedroom house.

Saturday's service will mark the official launch of this year's Faith Build. Bishop McConnell will meet the family and bless the house, the renovation work, and the many volunteers undertaking it. More than 15 congregations from across the Episcopal Diocese are joining this Faith Build. In addition to teams providing the labor, the diocese and its participating parishes have committed $30,000 toward the project.

The public is invited to attend this event. A tour will be given after the blessing to show the work in progress and to learn what the final renovation will look like. The projected move-in for the family is late spring/early summer.

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