Habitat ready for second build

Published 8:58 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

After receiving a $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart of Demopolis, the Demopolis Area Habitat for Humanity is continuing its drive to raise funds and recruit volunteers for the upcoming build.

The local chapter is just more than halfway to reaching their fundraising goal of $20,000. This goal must be met before construction can begin on the second Habitat house in Demopolis.

“All the money goes toward construction,” said chapter treasurer Kim Townsend. “We are hoping to get started later this year.”

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Habitat for Humanity is an organization that gives first-time home buyers the opportunity to own a home and pay a low mortgage note. Families that are selected to purchase a Habitat house are also required to put in hours of labor on the construction site and partner with Habitat during and after the completion of their home construction.

“It’s a common misconception that we build a house and give it to people, but [the home owners] have to pay for it, and they play a big part in the whole process,” Townsend said.

Local chapter president Freddy Charleston emphasized that the role of Habitat is to “upgrade” the community.

“We want to give people a clean and decent place to live,” Charleston said. “We want, in any way, to eliminate poverty.”

Because construction on the house cannot begin until the fund-raising goal of $20,000 is met, Habitat for Humanity is dependent on the donations of local churches, businesses and individuals.

“With the economy the way it is, things are higher and it’s not as easy to donate,” Charleston said. Yet even in dire economic conditions, Habitat is continuing its work.

“We are still here and we are active,” Townsend emphasized. “We need [the community’s] help.”

In order to continue raising money, the local chapter will sponsor a yard sale on Saturday, July 25, at the former Alabama State Trooper location on U.S. Highway 80. Those who are interested may donate serviceable or functional household items, clothing, or reuseable building materials. To make a donation, people may contact Terry Charleston at 289-7151 or the area Habitat office at 289-1177.

Once the funds are raised and a family is selected, construction will begin. No previous building experience is needed for those willing to volunteer.

“Once we start building, we will need a lot of volunteers to help with the actual construction,” Townsend said.

“We can find something for everyone to do.”