A Demopolis debut for Habitat for Humanity

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

DEMOPOLIS- Become a part of history and play a role in the biggest moment of a family’s life while helping the construction of Demopolis’ first Habitat home.

According to Lindsy Gardner, treasurer for the city’s Habitat branch, Demopolis became an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity in January of 2003 and acquired the lot on Washington Street where they plan to build in April of the same year.

“Habitat’s goal is to help people in substandard housing conditions to have a home on their own and we give them a long-term, no interest loan,” Gardner said.

The family chosen for this special occasion is LaVon Blount and her three children, ages 9, 14 and 17.

“I feel great. I’m excited to get started,” Blount said. “I am really looking forward to it and ready to see the progress.”

The two younger children will not be able to participate in the construction part of the project because of insurance issues, but will be able to help once inside work begins.

But, Blount and her oldest child will have to put at least 300 hours of work into their home.

“We hope it will make them take pride in their home and their community,” Gardner said. “We hope it empowers them.”

According to Blount, she had never heard of Habitat for Humanity until her co-worker mentioned it to her.

She said she thought she wouldn’t be chosen for the project although she wanted badly out of the “projects.”

“My sister was confident from day one,” Blount said. “And when I found out they picked me, I cried. Then I went in the bathroom and pinched myself and it was real.”

Gardner said both people who are skilled in construction and people who aren’t are needed in the project.

“We are looking at a 12-week building schedule,” Gardner said. “But it may be a little more since this is our first time.”

She said the project will need 15-20 volunteers a day and a skilled volunteer will need to be on site everyday.

“I am grateful for anybody that can do anything,” Blount said. “I’m open to anything and volunteers from anywhere. I’m just ready to get started.”

According to Gardner, the community has been “very supportive” and they are still looking for volunteers age 16 and up.

There will be two orientation meetings at the Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

The first is Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. and the next is Saturday, September 10 at 10 a.m.

At the orientation volunteers will learn more about Habitat and what it does, safety and sign up for volunteer times.

For more information call Lindsy Gardner at 289-1595 (day) or LaVon Blount 289-8733 (day) or 289-5686 (night).

“My kids always wanted a dog and they will finally be able to have one and a yard,” Blount said. “Now they can keep their bikes, since they always got stolen, and have somewhere to ride them.”