Thanks and apology to Fortune heirs

Published 9:34 pm Monday, November 25, 2019

To the editor:

Thank you to the Suffolk News-Herald and reporter Jimmy LaRoue for an article on Nov. 5 (“Habitat Breaks Ground on Suffolk House”) about the donation of a plot of land on Pitchkettle Road on which Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads intends to build a home for a qualified family. When the Jordan family moves into the 1,300 square foot house next spring, they will certainly be grateful to Habitat for the opportunity, but a good portion of the credit must go to the eight current heirs of the Peter and Adlee Fortune estate who owned the parcel.

The plot of land on Pitchkettle on which Habitat for Humanity SHR intends to build a home for a qualified family was donated outrightly with no liens or encumbrances attached, to help hardworking families like the Jordans realize the American dream of homeownership and because the work Habitat does for the community exemplifies what Peter Fortune Estate did for the family and the community. In the article there was no mention of the Fortune family, and I misspoke to the reporter about how Habitat was able to acquire the land and the genuine and heartfelt motivation of the donors. I want the heirs to know that I apologize profusely for this.

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Incredibly, this lot has been in the Fortune family since 1895, and in the nearly 125 years since, the descendants have brought great credit to the community and to their ancestors. We are anxious to get to work on the project. Neil Jordan himself will be out there with hammer and nails, because a requirement of all of our Habitat homeowners, besides their ability to pay a monthly mortgage, is to provide some of their own sweat equity.

This will be the 233rd home that Habitat South Hampton Roads has built over the last 31 years. None would have been possible without the generosity of landowners like the heirs of Peter Randolph Fortune, who believed the highest and best use for this acreage was for a new house that will stabilize a neighborhood, create tax revenue for a community and pride for its residents.

Frank Hruska

Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads