Preachers, parishioners wield hammers for Habitat

March 30, 2009 – Preachers from two churches and parishioners representing seven churches congregated between the rain showers on Saturday to hammer away on Habitat for Humanity's latest project.
Mar 30, 2009

 

March 30, 2009 – Preachers from two churches and parishioners representing seven churches congregated between the rain showers on Saturday to hammer away on Habitat for Humanity's latest project.
Morgan Gordy, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church and Kevin Martin, pastor at Celebration Lutheran Church in Mt. Juliet donned hard hats and picked up hammers. Other churches represented in this Apostles Build home in partnership with Shelay Alexander-Wright are Life Assembly, Mt. Juliet Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, Friendship Community Church, First Presbyterian and Immanuel Baptist Church.
Friday, May 29, is the anticipated closing date on the three bedroom, one bath home for Alexander-Wright. A single mother with two children, Vion, 7, and Zoie, 21 months, she is a Cumberland University graduate who has applied for medical school and presently works at Meharry in their family clinic.
"The kids are so excited about their new home," she said. "I brought them by here earlier in the week so they could explore and run through the house. I have learned so much being out and around these people, and through all the classes and things I've had to take." She laughed and then added, "I believe I've learned enough that if anything goes wrong, I can at least attempt to fix it myself before I have to call in a professional."
Like all Habitat recipients, Wright had to go through hundreds of sweat equity hours, take a home buyers course plus a Financial Peace Course, one of the Dave Ramsey classes. Then, she has to assume the payments to pay for the house, (just in case anyone thinks these recipients get these houses for free.)
Rain and clouds in the morning moved the groups' staring time from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The clouds kept it from getting too warm and uncomfortable on the volunteers and did clear off later in the day. Habitat Director Tory Tredway was also on hand helping.
"We built three houses last year and anticipate building four this year, two this spring and two in the fall," he said during a break. "We've had 117 families on the waiting list for quite some time now, but have finally started processing things so we can bring more into the program.
" Another good thing this year is we applied for and received a grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to aid in construction. It's part of the Housing Trust Funds available through THDA. Normally, the sponsoring group on each of our houses has to raise the $30,000 in building funds to do each project. On this particular house, each participating church is giving $3,000 toward construction plus their personal time and Habitat voted to apply the grant money to this project. Then, we will apply again next year," he said.
This Habitat house is located on Wilson Avenue. A sign stands in front of it which reads, "Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with God and people everywhere from all walks of life to build simple, decent affordable homes for deserving families in our community."
Rev. Gordy's comment was probably typical of all the volunteers working on the house. "This is my second time around on a Habitat project," she said. "Shelay is such a nice, hardworking and deserving person, I'm just glad to be in a position to help her and her two children get their home."

 

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