By: Augustus Stahl
March 8 marked the start of a new life for a local family, and the completion of Monadnock Habitat for Humanity’s first house renovation.
MHFH’s newest Partner Family, Carl and Marilyn Babbitt, cut the ribbon to their new home at 152 Carroll St. after volunteers and the Babbitt family spent more than three months renovating the house. Marilyn Babbitt, who works in Charlestown, NH, making medical devices, is a Keene native.
Marilyn’s husband, Carl Babbitt, originally from Worcester, MA, is the Executive Director of Monadnock Aftercare Prison Ministry, a licensed drug and alcohol counselor, and runs his own masonry business, Saturn Stone. Carl Babbitt also graduated valedictorian from Bethel College in May of 2013 with a degree in Ministry.
The Babbitts found out a week before Christmas that they had been selected for the Carroll Street house.
“When we went to the informational meeting, we were the only family that showed up,” said Carl Babbitt. All Habitat for Humanity Partner Families are expected to put in 300 hours of “sweat equity,” but with the help of their friends and family, the Babbitts far surpassed that number.
Carl Babbitt has worked on a Monadnock Habitat for Humanity build in the past, but this one was different, he said.
“The house that we renovated on Carroll Street meant more to me because I knew it was mine. I knew it was going to be my home,” he said.
“And they don’t forget about you,” Marilyn Babbitt said. “They’re still going to be doing things down the road. They’re going to fill my flower boxes for me, get bulbs to put in the ground. It’s like, they’re not just walking away, ‘We’re done, see you later.’”
Once the Babbitts move into their new home, Carl, along with continuing his ministry work, is going to continue to build his masonry business.
“I took my hobby of doing stone work and landscaping, and made it into a business. Stone walls, walkways… It’s helped pay my bills, and if I can find something permanent, I’ll find something permanent, otherwise I’ll keep doing what I’m doing,” Carl said.
The Babbitts have been living in a trailer that’s too cold, with an unstable floor and plastic over the windows to keep out the winter. They spend hundreds of dollars per month for heat, and the floors move up and down when they walk. Despite their hardships, humility runs strong in the Babbitt family
“It shouldn’t be about us. It should be about the people who worked behind the scenes and made this happen,” Carl Babbitt said. “We are extremely grateful and thankful for having the house, because we wouldn’t have had it any other way. And it’s a blessing to me ‘cause it’s only 10-15 minutes away from where I do my volunteer work up at the jail.”