Groundbreaking ceremony group photo.
Brandi Shelton will own the 15th Habitat for Humanity home in Pickens County. This was her third time to apply.
HFH President Keith Scott deemed the Jan. 22 groundbreaking a transition point for Brandi and her five school-age children. Attending alongside Brandi were sons Wesley, Dylan, Winston and Austin. Their excitement could barely be contained. After slinging dirt with shiny gold shovels, the boys took off to explore the lightly wooded lot. They crunched through dried leaves to find the four stakes marking the corners of where their new home will sit.
Scott watched them and said, “If you’re wondering why we do this, there is your answer.”
The one-story four bedroom ranch will sit on the Southeast corner of Bell Avenue and Elizabeth Street in Jasper. Brandi is looking forward to enjoying the family room. She says they like to spend time together. The boys are in good spirits about having to double up in their bedrooms. Austin said he’ll be happy as long as he has plenty of Lego’s to build with. Perhaps Austin will grow up to build bigger things, like homes for HFH.
President Scott says they are careful not to build cookie-cutter houses. Each home is designed according to the specific family’s needs and must blend aesthetically with other homes in the area. Bob Coleman, manager of Jasper’s Home Depot, is donating materials and labor. Because HFH does not make money on their projects, Coleman’s donations are greatly appreciated.
It’s a common misconception that HFH homes are free. Many of the materials and labor are donated, but homeowner must qualify to make payments which are offered at zero percent interest. Those payments go into a revolving fund to help build more homes.
When the time comes to put a roof over the Shelton family, Jonathan Schooler of Global Builders will provide materials and labor. “We’re especially glad about the labor,” joked Scott. “None of us retired older folks really wants to crawl around up there!” Completion should take 6 to 7 months if cold weather doesn’t cause any delays.
Habitat for Humanity was created in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. In 1984, President Jimmy Carter joined with them to fix a burned-out apartment building in New York City. His endorsement helped make HFH a world leader in providing decent affordable housing in partnership with God for families in need. Pickens County HFH has one paid employee. The rest are volunteers.
For more information call Carol Opdenhoff at 706-253-2393; www.pickenshfh.org
Pickens County Habitat for Humanity, 135 Cares Drive, Jasper, Ga. 30143; www.habitat.org