Habitat Friends: Marty and Reid

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The path to becoming a Habitat homeowner is full of excitement, anticipation, and hard work. Lots of hard work. Over the course of a year, the future homeowner must earn 350 hours of sweat equity. Future homeowners who begin this process around the same time often get to know one another as they work side by side, first in the ReStore and then out on build sites. Because we know that we’re not only building homes, but also communities, we’re always delighted when future homeowners become friends. Here is the story of the second of two Habitat friendships.

Habitat homebuyers Marty and Reid met early on, volunteering in the ReStore, but they were surprised they hadn’t met even sooner. Marty says, “Given the size of this town and the fact that we play similar music, we eventually would’ve met, but I thought this was a pretty cool way to meet.”

Marty Peters grew up in Connecticut. He was initially drawn to New Orleans for its music, but he also loves what he calls the living culture of the city, “not some dusty thing under glass in a museum,” but an “emphasis on celebrating life itself.” Reid Poole also came to New Orleans by way of jazhabitat-friends-1z. Originally from Colorado, he learned of Habitat in getting to know residents of the Musicians’ Village. Reid is already deeply involved in the city’s music scene, but he’s ready to commit to the city in a new way, as a homeowner.

Once Reid and Marty were given the list of available lots they visited all of the areas where we build, but it was a quiet corner of the Lower Ninth Ward that captured their imaginations. They chose lots directly next to each other, and they each have a spark in their eye when they talk about the future. Reid has been daydreaming about walks along the levee, and Marty imagines their west-facing porches as prime sunset-watching territory.

When asked why they chose adjacent lots, Reid explains, “I really like the whole idea that we can work together in the ReStore, and then we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna do construction. We get to build a relationship and then jump into a community together.”

Marty agrees: “It’s great to be able to know your immediate community. Having neighbors who you know went through a program like this, you know that they’re people who are hardworking, disciplined.”

Day by day, Marty and Reid are coming closer to their dream of a new community. They’ve already played a few gigs together, and they can’t wait for the day when their homes become a hangout for fellow musicians.

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