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For family, new home is an answer to prayer

For family, new home is an answer to prayer

June 28th, 2014 in News

New homeowner Kay Procter, center, holds up a stepping stone presented by Kelly Smith, left, on behalf of the residents of Heisinger Bluffs who handcrafted the housewarming gift during a River City Habitat for Humanity home dedication ceremony for Procter and her family on Friday. Procter is surrounded by her son Ryan Procter, right, and grandson Rowan Procter, center.

Photo by Kris Wilson

Kay Procter believes strongly in prayer.

The latest proof of answered prayer, she said, is her family's new wheelchair-accessible home designed for her 23-year-old son, Ryan.

"God is walking with me every day," she said. "I don't worry too much about anything. If you want it, pray for it. It will come."

In the fall of 2013, Procter applied for a house at the River City Habitat for Humanity and learned her application was approved three weeks later, she said. On Friday, Proctor, her family and others from River City Habitat for Humanity dedicated the home at a ceremony.

"I knew something good was going to happen because it happened so quickly," she said.

Procter began volunteering every Saturday for Habitat for Humanity in order to accumulate the "sweat equity" required for the purchase of her home. The work sometimes proved exhausting, especially after five 10-hour days a week at Jefferson City Manor Care Center, where Procter works as a nurse, she said.

At a monthly meeting for potential Habitat for Humanity homeowners, Procter realized she had worked all of her 350 required hours, she said.

"I knew it (moving) was really soon. I was so ready to get in it and get the new (phase of her life) started," she said.

Built with the volunteer labor of students in Nichols Career Center's building trades program, the 1950s-era home on Moreau View Drive features an open floor plan with wood flooring, hallways and doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and a walk-in bathtub, all of which sits on one level, Procter said.

"It's going to make everything so much easier," she said.

Procter's family currently resides in an apartment that often presents mobility challenges for Ryan and resulting struggles for Kay, she said.

"In the apartment, Ryan is limited on where he can go," she said.

Ryan is confined to a wheelchair after a 15-hour traumatic seizure left him brain-atrophied at less than two years of age, Procter said.

Though Procter and Ryan are "pretty limited on what we can do," "we like to be together," she said. "Being with me is the best thing for him. He knows he's taken care of," she said.

While the accessibility of the house will greatly assist Procter, she eagerly awaits the presence of some personal touches.

Though Ryan is cortically blind and unable to acknowledge Procter, the pair share a special love of wind chimes, with which Procter can now adorn the exterior of her home, she said.

Ryan enjoyed the sound of wind chimes before his traumatic seizure and seemed to continue to enjoy them afterwards, despite his limited ability to communicate and express emotions, Procter said.

"When the wind chimes rang, something must have clicked in his brain because he looked like: "I remember that,'" Procter said.

The new homeowner says she plans to continue volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. "Volunteering keeps people young. Habitat is doing good things for people," she said.

Despite experiencing what she characterized as "some dark days" in the past few years, Procter says she feels immensely blessed.

"I'm just blessed with my home and all of my families ... You can reflect back and see what you acquire. You don't just get a house. You get a family. They support you wholly here," she said.

This home will join the other houses dedicated by River City Habitat for Humanity as number 86, according to Marlene Medin, president of River City Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.

Habitat for Humanity sells the house to the homeowner at the cost of construction, which usually proves less expensive than conventional homes because of the use of volunteer labor, Medin said.

A home worth approximately $120,000 on the real estate market ends up costing the homebuyer $70,000-$80,000 because of Habitat for Humanity, Medin said.

"This make it affordable for people to work and earn something and call it yours," Procter said.

Medin touted Proctor's home as a product of the partnership between River City Habitat for Humanity and Nichols Career Center.

"They helped with everything. The building and trades program made it accessible," she said.

Scholastic Inc. donated the land on which Procter's home sits. The parcel of land will also serve as the building site for two additional homes, Medin said.