Turning a house into a home

“Debbie and Elvis Troche are ready to move forward,” said Laakea Therese, cultural practitioner who officiated a recent house blessing in Anahola.

“That phrase, ‘moving forward,’ was used by Debbie over and over, again during my personal meeting with them,” Therese said. “They’ve been through a lot, and are ready to see what is ahead of them in this new home.”

The Troche family lost their residence in a fire during the summer of 2011, said Milani Pimental, director of development for the Kauai Habitat for Humanity.

Through the efforts of Habitat, the County of Kauai, the Department of Hawaiian Homes and the Toulon family, the Troches welcomed guests to their new home which sits on the same site where the fire razed their former home.

“We’ve never had a house donated to us,” Pimental said. “This is a first, and through the creative thinking and efforts of many community groups and individuals, Debbie and Elvis have had their dream of owning a home fulfilled.”

Pimental said the completion of the Troche home included 1,195 volunteer hours, and more than 524 hours put in by Debbie and Elvis. Debbie started by volunteering at the ReStore in Hanapepe and eventually being put on the payroll.

Among the guests, Howie Apilado, an Americorps volunteer, said his mother’s house, Marian Eguchi, will be blessed today in Kekaha, thanks to the efforts of Kauai Habitat for Humanity.

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