Steve Messina and Mary Roop expected their journeys as Holston Habitat for Humanity homebuyers to be life changing, but neither expected their journey to end in marriage.
They each individually applied to Holston Habitat with the goal of one day owning safe, decent, and affordable homes. This Valentine’s Day they celebrate together as a married couple in a home that was lovingly built by Holston Habitat with the help of community volunteers.
Steve and Mary met for the first time as students in Holston Habitat’s Homeowner Education Program and quickly became friends. In addition to volunteer “sweat equity” and saving for closing costs, the education program is a core requirement of every Holston Habitat homebuyer.
Over the course of several months, Steve and Mary completed the program and construction on their homes began. Once complete, they celebrated each other’s home dedications and settled into their new homes.
“A few months later I asked him out for dinner and we began dating,” said Mary. “We enjoy spending time together and make each other very happy.”
The couple was married in 2019 in the backyard of Mary’s Holston Habitat home in Jonesborough, which they now share. The Habitat house built originally for Steve in Elizabethton is now a safe, affordable home for a new Holston Habitat homebuyer.
Holston Habitat’s mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
Mary and Steve’s love story may be unconventional, but their desire to build a loving home together is something very relatable,” says Alanna Leonberg, Homeowner Services Manager for Holston Habitat. “Holston Habitat is happy to be a part of their story.”
Holston Habitat offers opportunities for affordable home ownership to individuals and families with limited income and housing need in Washington, Sullivan and Carter Counties in Tennessee and within the city limits of Bristol, Virginia.
For more information about applying for affordable home ownership with Holston Habitat for Humanity visit www.HolstonHabitat.org or call the administrative office at 423.239.7689.