Coastal Habitat Fulfills Holiday Wish

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The owners of a 110 year old Victorian home in Neptune City received a holiday wish come true early this year thanks to Coastal Habitat for Humanity, the charity’s volunteers and donors.

“My house was built by my great grandfather, Isaac Whitfield Richardson as a wedding present for his son and his new wife,” said Rhonda Ladaye.  “Great Grandpop came here more than 100 years ago and purchased 15 acres on Sand Hill.  Then he built homes for his sisters, brothers and cousins.”

So many members of the Richardson family lived on Sand Hill, at one time the area was called Richardson Heights.

“Today, I am the last Mohican (Eastern Algonquian Native American) on the hill and the fourth generation owner of this great house filled with wonderful family memories,” said Ladaye.  “I grew up feeling safe and cared for, surrounded by family and good food.  But there is a lot that goes in to keeping up with the maintenance of these old Victorians and it was getting into a very bad condition.”

Coastal Habitat stepped in to make critical exterior and structural repairs as well as cosmetic enhancements last month to the architecturally spectacular home near West Lake Avenue.

“Rhonda’s need was so great however what made this project even more special was the family history – and our area’s history - that went along with the house,” said Maureen Mulligan, executive director, Coastal Habitat.  “As soon as we learned about her story, our volunteers and donors wanted to help.  Our mission is to help as many families as we can every year.”

Every recipient of Coastal Habitat’s Brush With Kindness program support commits to giving back sweat equity.  Rhonda helped paint her house alongside volunteers, organized by Ocean Grove resident Sally Harris, and will assist other families in the future.

“I am extremely grateful to Coastal Habitat for helping repair my home,” said Ladaye.  “It is a holiday blessing to finally get this old house taken care of.”