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September 2020
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Habitat families “pay it forward”: First home dedicated in New Hope Acres

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    Angela Reinhardt / Photo
    Randy and Jessica Casey, with sons Trey, 2, and Zachary, 15, in front of their new home in New Hope Acres.

    Earlier this year the Caseys were living with parents in Hinton, but after taking a leap of faith and applying for a Pickens County Habitat for Humanity house, the family is in their own home in the New Hope Acres community. 
    “We just felt like if we applied God might be willing to help us get approved,” said Randy Casey, who along with wife Jessica and their sons were presented with keys to their new home at a Sunday dedication ceremony.

    The house was the first in New Hope Acres off Hobson Road, where Pickens Habitat has plans to build several more Habitat houses. 
    “This will be a community, and there are five more in this developed phase we will be building in the next five years,” said Pickens Habitat President Steve Greenwell.
    There are many more undeveloped acres in New Hope where the charity has plans to build more homes when funding is available.  
    Chair of Pickens Habitat’s Construction Committee Grady Hopper said he was impressed with the skill set and dedication of volunteers for the Casey home building project.
    “We had a lot of great people show up during this build,” he said, “and I also want to thank the family. Jessica and Randy were great to work with. They put in a lot of equity hours. Jessica wasn’t afraid to get dirty and Randy has a ton of expertise,” including framing and drywall. 
    Hopper also said several existing Habitat homeowners chipped in on the project, which he says is a testament to the efficacy of Habitat for Humanity as a whole.
    “Part of Habitat that works so well is that everyone pays it forward,” he said. “That’s why this model works so well. Our three prior families all helped build this house. They worked on a Saturday on their day off to help us out. That’s what it’s all about.”
    Greenwell echoed Hopper’s sentiments and thanked prior Habitat families and volunteers, as well as local restaurants and organizations that donated lunch on construction days.
    The Pickens County Master Gardeners donated their time to landscape around the Casey’s house, and presented a booklet with a plant-care guide, gloves and pruners. The family was also presented with a Bible for the home, a tradition of the Christian-based organization.
    “This whole experience has been a true blessing,” said Jessica. “Not only us being able to get a home, but being able to be a part of something big.”