“This house is a gift from God,” says new Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Shown (l-r)Habitat president Steve Greenwell, Don Russell, new home mom Jessica holding Trey, dad Randy, son Zackery and chair of Habitat Construction Committee Grady Hopper.
By Max Caylor
“Welcome to 99 Hope Street and the groundbreaking of our first house in New Hope Acres,” stated Habitat president Steve Greenwell, greeting over 50 people from the community including Habitat board members.
They were present to celebrate the historic start of Habitat’s 16th house in Pickens County and the first in their own subdivision just off Philadelphia Road last week.
Through the generosity of an estate, Habitat will build seven houses on lots already surveyed and plans seven to eight additional homes on the remaining acreage “to take people out of difficult situations to improve their everything,” noted Greenwell.
The non-profit volunteer group’s mission is “seeking to put God’s love into action by mobilizing community volunteers to form a cohesive coalition to fund and build simple, decent affordable housing in partnership with God and God’s people in need.”
Habitat for Humanity offers home ownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional financing. Families apply to local Habitat affiliates and are chosen on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan. The Habitat program does not give away houses and makes no profit on the sale. The New Hope Acre house will cost $65,000 to construct.
At this house, dad Randy, mom Jessica and children Trey, Zackery and Michael are the newest Habitat family. Their new home has 1,206 square feet with four bedrooms. Normally, the Habitat houses have three bedrooms but Jessica requested four bedrooms stating “having one’s own space is more important than size and it is easier to set boundaries.”
“This house is a gift from God. I would never have been able to save enough for a down payment,” stated a smiling, almost-teary dad. In just three weekends the new house has walls up and is almost dried in. Randy has been there working each week with the volunteers and, as a Habit home owner, is required to labor at least 200 hours until the project is done along with other family members 18 years of age or older. Habit describes the homeowner’s work as “sweat equity.”
“Each Habitat family has some degree of say so and planning for their new home,” added Greenwell. The Construction Committee collaborates with families as to storage, furniture placement, appliances and more to get the most use and space from the floor plan.
Greenwell publicly thanked every contributor and volunteer for their generosity and especially the major donors for being “partners with God with the goal of eliminating poverty in Pickens County.”
Also, he invited others to volunteer by calling 706-253-2393, pickenshfh.org or by coming by the office at 135 Cares Way.
“I have promised Jessica she would be in her new house by Christmas,” concluded the president.