Habitat Partner Family Eager to Start on Second Home Here

April 6, 2007
Dwayne Page

Home ownership will soon become a reality for Smithville resident Felicia Gibbs. The DeKalb County native and her two small children were just named the second Partner Family by Dekalb County?s Affiliate Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Construction on their Adams St. home should begin within months.

?I?m just overwhelmed and grateful,? said Gibbs after being informed of her selection. ?This is the kind of blessing I?ve prayed and prayed for...When I signed the agreement, I felt like I was signing for the beginning of my life.?

For the past two years Gibbs, a divorced single mother, has been working at Bumpers in Smithville to support daughter Dasia, 4, and son Tristan, eight months old.

She is a 2001 graduate of DeKalb County High School, and daughter of Lisa Cox and Terry Gibbs. Felicia learned of Habitat?s commitment to help deserving candidates become homeowners through local officials and Denise Perry, head of Habitat?s first partner family here.

?I never dreamed I?d be selected,? Gibbs says. ?Now I am just so grateful and excited, and eager to get started.?

Nolan Turner, president of the local Habitat affiliate describes her as an outstanding candidate for home ownership. ?She?s cooperative and humble, and her eagerness to work stand out as qualities we look for in partner families.?

Gibbs? and her children met all three criteria used by Habitat for Humanity to identify the best candidates for success: demonstration of need, ability to pay and willingness to partner with Habitat to realize their dreams of home ownership.

Recipients of Habitat-built homes are required to come up with a down payment, and put in many hours of ?sweat equity? before construction begins. Once the home is completed, the partner family assumes a 20-year interest-free mortgage for the purchase price, based solely on the cost of materials and related services. These costs are projected to be in the $40,000 to $45,000 range, with monthly payments ranging between $200 and $300.

With their second partner family selected, local Habitat members must address their next challenge, raising that money. Planned efforts include a county-wide outreach to churches; a campaign to establish a Habitat for Humanity donor club; and the opening of a local Habitat Restore for the sale of donated building supplies and materials.

Anyone interested in donating money, materials or tools to the DeKalb County Affiliate Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, or volunteering for a construction crew, should call 215-8181. Please leave a voicemail message with your contact information and a board member will get back to you.

The local Habitat affiliate is one of more than 2100 Habitat for Humanity chapters operating in more than 100 countries. Since the organization?s start in 1978, local chapters have built or renovated housing for more than 30,000 American families, and 175,000 families throughout the world.

Each Habitat affiliate chapter operates as a self-sustaining non-profit organization, committed to Habitat?s faith-based initiative. Habitat for Humanity International defines itself as a non-profit ecumenical Christian organization founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, decent and affordable place to safely live with dignity.

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