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Making a house a home

Written By: Melissa McDonald, UT Physicians | Updated: July 9, 2020
ribbon-cutting for new home

On June 10, the ribbon-cutting took place for the Marks family. Photo credit: Melissa McDonald, UT Physicians

In a world feeling the weight of a pandemic, economic challenges, and division, the Habitat for Humanity ribbon-cutting represented the very best of what we can all do—listen, help, work together, and be kind.

A new year, a new home

On Jan. 6, Adriane Marks’ story began with a surprise on KPRC-TV that would unite people from all different backgrounds and businesses to make a difference in her life—and the life of her children.

Andrew Casas Holding a Plaque
Andrew Casas displays the plaque given to UT Physicians by KPRC-TV for the Habitat for Humanity sponsorship.

“It wasn’t just her family that was impacted by this project,” said Andrew Casas, senior vice president of UTHealth and chief operating officer for UT Physicians. “We all walked away with a renewed sense of purpose. We can do more—we must do more to help each other. I am so proud of Adriane and the work she committed to doing to make her dream of owning a home come true.”

Family in Front of Home
The Marks family takes a picture in the backyard of their new home.

Adriane’s dream of homeownership was made possible by a project led by KPRC-TV. Since 2013, there have been seven homes built for residents of Houston through the KPRC-TV and Houston Habitat collaboration. For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, these homes aren’t just built by Habitat workers, the future homeowner and sponsors take part in the construction process.

This year, UT Physicians was proud to be the title sponsor. On Jan. 8, about 20 employees representing UTHealth and UT Physicians spent an entire day at the build site standing up the first beams on the foundation.

“The opportunity to work at the construction site—and participating in the ribbon-cutting was truly special,” said Marlon Stewart, manager for a UT Physicians clinic located near the build site. “To witness the excitement of her children picking out their rooms, and the admiration of their mother’s accomplishment, accentuates the importance of continuity and connection with people beyond the walls of the clinic. UT Physicians has always strived to build lasting relationships to broaden the concept of care within the communities we serve—but this project will hold a special meaning for all of us.”

When KPRC-TV first approached us about being the title sponsor, it seemed to be a perfect fit, said Casas. “The three pillars that we believe make a successful community are proper housing, education, and health. Having a sponsor that is passionate and understands the importance of each pillar—that’s crucial. That’s stepping up to truly help the people of our community,” said Allison Hay, executive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity.

“KPRC could never make the annual Habitat build a success without enthusiastic title partners like UT Physicians. Despite the unique circumstances we all encountered in the first half of 2020, our build went on and we enjoyed one of our best ribbon-cuttings ever,” said Jerry Martin, vice president and general manager of KPRC-TV.

Welcome home

The ribbon-cutting to welcome the Marks family home took place on June 10. While social distancing and the need to wear masks added a new look to the celebration, it was still a moving event that was filled with smiles and a few tears of joy.

When possibilities are endless and people lead with listening, compassion, understanding, and a willingness to help, you will find the very best of humanity. If you are interested in helping with Houston Habitat for Humanity, contact them.

From the surprise to the ribbon-cutting, view a look back at a dream fulfilled

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.