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Benton Harbor homeowner looks forward to safer, warmer surroundings

Seven-year-old Ronda and 6-year-old Ryanne are glad to be leaving their current rental house. They're convinced it's haunted.

Crystal Smith tells her youngest child, Kaleb, about the better life they will have in their new Habitat home in Benton Harbor.

"It's just because it's so dark and cold all the time," laughs their mother, Crystal Smith. But Crystal admits it will be nice to have lower heating bills and actually be able to stay warm in their new Habitat home.

Crystal looks forward to other things in the new house, too: more storage space; a yard that doesn't "turn into a swamp" every time it rains; city water instead of undrinkable well water; a water heater and furnace that aren't exposed—and aren't dangers to her 18-month-old son Karon and her 1-month-old son Kaleb.

She is also happy to be moving to a neighborhood where she can get to know the people living nearby, where they can help one another and where so many new houses will make a big difference in the community. "Benton Harbor needs to be built up," she says.

What else is Crystal excited about? "Jimmy Carter!" she exclaims, though at 25 she is far too young to remember his presidency. "I get to meet a president! I can't even explain how I feel!"

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