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Help need to put finishing touches on ‘Habitat’ home

For first time, the Blount family will soon have a place they can truly call home. But, due to a lack of money, shortage of materials and lack of volunteers, their Habitat for Humanity house is taking more time than expected to complete.

Even though the project initially began when city leaders celebrated the groundbreaking for the home on Washington and Chestnut streets in late September, construction supervisor Dick Kirkpatrick said the family has at least another six weeks before they can move in.

“We are slowly making steady progress,” Habitat board member Lindsy Gardner said. “If we can go ahead and get the sheetrock and the siding done, we can go ahead and start painting. That way we’ll be closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.”

No matter how slow the project is moving, homeowner Lavon Blount and her children, Shay Green, age 11, Marketia Blount, 15, and Willie Blount, 18, have not lost their enthusiasm.

“I am just happy to see it coming together,” Lavon said.

“I happy to be moving,” Shay said with a smile. “We will have a big back yard and then we can have a dog outside in the back.”

Blount said her middle daughter is probably most excited about the three-bedroom home, which includes two bathrooms.

“She spends a lot of time in the bathroom and we always have to rush her out,” Blount said.

“Especially in the mornings,” Shay added.

But the Blount family will continue to battle for the bathroom time until their home is completed.

“We are pretty much finished on the outside. Now we are finishing the siding on the outside. We have two sides done and we hope to complete the east side of the house Saturday,” he said. “After that, we will put siding on the back and work on the overhang. And that’ll take a few weeks. But then we’ll be pretty much finished on the outside.”

According to Kirkpatrick, volunteer numbers have been down because of the cooler, rainy weather. He also said many people are “anxious” to begin painting because they don’t think they can help with the outdoor work.

“I was nervous about helping with the siding,” Lavon said, “But once I came up here and the professional showed me how to do it…I actually thought it was more fun than doing the rest of the house.”

Kirkpatrick said the following steps will be to move inside the house to sand the walls and begin painting.

“Hopefully we will have electrical power within the next week or so. That way we can put lights up and work a little longer,” he said. “Then we’ll start on cupboards and completing the heating systems.”

“Our finishing depends on the volunteer turnout. The volunteers we have now have been helpful,” Kirkpatrick said, “and if everything goes as planned it should be done in about six weeks. But you can never put a firm deadline on something when you are depending on volunteers.”

To volunteer, contact Lindsy Gardner at (334) 289-1595 or (334) 212-0685.