SILT — Maryann Carrillo had never lived in a home with a working doorbell, if it even had a doorbell at all.
Now, thanks to Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley, Maryann and her mother, Liliana, were one of two families who celebrated their new duplex homes in Silt on Sunday afternoon, along with more than 80 Habitat staff, volunteers, builders, architects, donors, residents, and past and future Habitat homeowners.
“My favorite part of my house is the doorbell,” the 10-year-old Maryann told the crowd. “It’s a sign of welcome. I never had a doorbell that ever worked. And when I see this doorbell, I know that this is my forever home.”
Liliana Carrillo, originally from Gypsum, is in her fourth year as a kindergarten teacher at Cactus Valley Elementary in Silt. She hopes this experience will impart some valuable lessons to her daughter:
“Nothing is handed to you; you have to go out there and earn it,” and “Never give upon your dreams.”
The Carrillos, who moved in a week before the ceremony, are joined by the Lincicome family on the other side of the duplex, who received their key Sunday. Yuri Lincicome is a third-generation Carbondale native and works as a sous chef at Aspen Glen Club. He dreams of someday opening his own restaurant. His wife, Michelle, works part time at Whole Foods in Basalt. The couple have three children, Grant, 16; Sydney, 14; and Jordan, 12.
“I feel like this is a new era for our family,” Yuri Lincicome said. “Ever since the recession, it felt like we were stuck in the mud. It’s an amazing opportunity — God has really blessed us. The house is beautiful.”
Michelle Lincicome gave heartfelt thanks to the community, which made it all happen.
“It has blown my mind how giving this community is,” she said.
Along with agreeing to pay a mortgage, meeting certain income requirements and completing an intensive first-time homebuyer course, Habitat for Humanity homeowners must put a minimum of 250 sweat equity hours per adult into the construction of their home. The homeowners are assisted by teams of Habitat staff and volunteers who design, build and coordinate the volunteer hours.
“I want to say thank you to every volunteer who has given sweat equity hours to building these simple, affordable homes for these two local families,” said Geneva Farr, volunteer coordinator/family services director for Habitat for Humanity RFV. “We’ve had 600 volunteers that have put in more than 5,200 sweat equity hours.”
Included in her recognitions were volunteers from the county’s Workender program and the Rifle Department of Corrections.
Scott Gilbert, president of Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley thanked numerous businesses, individuals and the town of Silt and also acknowledged the support from past Habitat homeowners, along with future homeowners who are going through the process.
“The beauty of what we see Habitat doing is that we’re blending families together,” Gilbert said. “Today is what Habitat is all about. This is what everyone works for. There are many people who have put in a lot of hours. Habitat for Humanity is a hand up, not a hand out.”
Then he summed up what a lot of people were thinking.
“I don’t think I’ll ever look at a doorbell the same way again.”