Daniel Rothe Becomes The 66th Habitat Homeowner In County – Transylvania County, NC


Last updated 11/4/2019 at 4:55pm

Daniel Rothe smiles during the groundbreaking of his Habitat home. (Courtesy photo)

On Oct. 31, Daniel Rothe became the 66th Habitat homeowner in Transylvania County.

Rothe's adopted mother, Judy, expressed how grateful she is for the Habitat program.

"I never thought he would be able to accomplish this in his lifetime. Things haven't been easy for Daniel. He's been through a lot," she said.

At a very young age, Rothe was put in the foster care program. After years of bouncing around from home to home, Judy got him out of foster care when Daniel was 10 and was then able to adopt him.

Since the age of 13, Rothe has been active with the Special Olympics. He started playing on the soccer team and, at age 19, he stepped up to lead his fellow athletes as a coach. He also spends countless hours every year fundraising for the organization.

After graduating from Brevard High School, Rothe went through several work assessment programs available to people with certain disabilities. He spent months learning job skills through programs such as Occupational Course of Study, Client Based Reassessment, Adjustment Job Development, and Getting Ahead. With the help of these programs, he eventually found employment at TVS as a building and grounds maintenance technician.

During the nine months it took him to help build his new home, there were days he didn't think it would be possible.

"Working a full-time job and participating in the Special Olympics, I worried I couldn't do it," he said. "I worked on my home every day after work and every weekend, and I did it. Even after I completed my 300 sweat equity hours, I kept working on my home. I prayed over it and wrote scriptures on the studs of my home. And I enjoyed working with my co-workers at TVS and the Habitat volunteers on my home. I can't even explain how great it's been."

"We are profoundly grateful for the support of the local community for helping to make Daniel's homeownership dream come true," said Angie Hunter, executive director of Transylvania Habitat for Humanity.

Most people believe Habitat for Humanity International provides funds to the local Habitat, however, each local Habitat is responsible for raising their own funds and running their own housing program.

"It's amazing to see what can be accomplished when people care enough to get involved," said Hunter.

Habitat strives to strengthen the community by helping establish stability and teaching self-reliance to their homeowners to help them lead better lives. Prospective Habitat homeowners must currently live in Transylvania County, be living in inadequate housing and unable to obtain a traditional mortgage. They must partner with Habitat throughout the process, performing sweat equity helping to build their own home or work in the ReStore. Homeowners must also meet certain citizenship and income requirements, have a steady source of income, demonstrate financial responsibility and be able to pay an affordable mortgage, which is defined as no more than 30 percent of their income.

Having grown up in the foster care program, "home" means something especially profound to Rothe.

When asked what he's looking forward to most about being a homeowner, "Having a home for life and a place to start a family," he said.


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