The Harmon family – Alicia, Derek, Gaberiel, 7, and Grayson, 3, have been chosen by Habitat for Humanity York County for the first of two homes being built in Cape Porpoise. Derek Harmon has worked in Kennebunkport for 14 years. Courtesy photo

KENNEBUNKPORT — Christmas 2020 has come and gone, but the miracle brought to the Harmon family during that season will live on forever. It will be a part of their daily lives; they’ll help it grow, and after a lot of hard work, by themselves and others pitching in, it will become their own.

Derek and Alicia Harmon and their boys, Gaberiel, 9, and Grayson, 3, have been chosen by Habitat for Humanity York County as the family for the first build in Cape Porpoise – one of two homes the organization and volunteers will build there, thanks to the donation of land.

Derek, a U.S. Army veteran, has been the sous chef at Hurricane since 2006. Alicia homeschools their oldest son, due to his health-related needs, Derek said.

The couple was working with a realtor in the fall, looking for a home, and it wasn’t easy.

“We were having a hard time finding what we needed and wanted being within our reach,” said Derek in an email. “After the realtor knew more about our situation, she said we seemed to be a worthy candidate for Habitat for Humanity. That day – directly after that conversation – my wife called Habitat and found out there were two homes being built in Cape Porpoise. It was extremely exciting to even have a possibility for this. Kennebunkport is our favorite area and of course, the area I work. It is where our life is.”

“We found out we were selected just before Christmas and it was a true miracle for us,” said Derek.

There were tears, and their youngest boy, sensing the excitement, jumped for joy.

“For me it was a huge relief and I was filled with gratitude,” said Derek. “It was the best Christmas present anyone could ask for – an affordable new construction home in our favorite town that we want to settle in, five minutes from my work.”

Harmon served three tours of duty in the Middle East with the 82nd Airborne, was honorably discharged in 2005 and began working at Hurricane the following year. The family currently lives in Sanford.

This architect’s conception of a new home on Mills Road in Cape Porpoise will be built by volunteers with Habitat for Humanity York County. Among those volunteering with the organization are Derek and Alicia Harmon, who have bene chosen as the family who will buy the home, set to be completed this year. Courtesy image

“Unfortunately settling in the area has always been out of reach for us,” he said. “My oldest son requires many living- space based health considerations that we have not been able to fully accommodate with move-in ready conditions. Constantly evolving health complications have caused us to live in fear and to relocate to different towns and school systems numerous times, never being able to settle or establish a community.”

Now, they will.

Habitat for Humanity York County director Amy Nucci said the site work at 36 Mills Road for this home and the second one has been completed and the foundations for both have been capped, with a plan to build the Harmon home this year.

“This two-home project is our biggest project to date and in total, we expect the site work, construction and building materials expenses to be around $485,000 for the two homes,” said Nucci.

Fundraising efforts are being planned.

Here’s how Habitat for Humanity York County projects work: HFHYC partners with families in York County who show a need for safe and affordable housing, a willingness to partner by completing “sweat equity” in the building of their own homes or those of other families, and the ability to repay an affordable mortgage. Homes are constructed using volunteer labor, donated materials and funds, and when completed, the homeowners’ mortgage payments are used to support the construction of future Habitat for Humanity homes. For more information about the Cape Porpoise build, visit

Derek Harmon has already been at work on the site and plans to continue as the work resumes.

“To be able to be a part of the construction and put nails into my future house is a huge blessing for me and I am grateful for the opportunity,” he said.

Alicia Harmon will volunteer at the ReStore, Habitat’s retail store in Kennebunk.

“Helping others and dealing with interior and home design has been a passion of hers for many years so this opportunity is a blessing for her also,” said Derek in the email.

He said the couple is overjoyed to be working with Habitat for Humanity and plan on being lifelong partners with the organization.

“Being selected by Habitat for Humanity has brought our family hope and is the miracle we have needed to set our life on a safe and positive course, ” Derek said “Partnering on this new construction will allow us to have the attention to detail necessary to accommodate our family’s needs that would not be attainable for us otherwise. This partnership will allow us to begin long term relationships and establish the community our family has been missing. We are excited to volunteer with Habitat for years to come. We are overwhelmed with relief, happiness, and gratitude. We could never begin to express what this opportunity means to us.”

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