Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville's Wilson Division officially completed its 2012 build season Saturday with a dedication ceremony for new Habitat homeowner Larry Jobe.
The new house on Hobbs Avenue in Lebanon, brings the total number of Habitat homes built in Wilson County to 56.
“It was great,” said Habitat's Wilson Division Director Tory Tredway. “He was very pleased with the opportunity provided by the groups and sponsors who worked on the house. He was very grateful.”
Even some of the volunteers who worked on the house were surprised at how well it turned out.
"With the groups and sponsors who worked there on the early part of the build, it was fun to see their reactions to the finished house," Tredway said.
Jobe has undergone adversity and put in a lot of work in order to become a homeowner. He had to drop out of college from lack of resources and then was injured in a car accident three months before he was to become a father.
Uncertain that he would ever walk again, Jobe became depressed. Then he found “God’s Way,” a Bible-based recovery program, regaining his health and ability to walk. He heard about the Habitat program at the Wilson County Fair. He is currently involved in youth ministry at the Market Street Church of Christ and enrolled in Volunteer State Community College to become a counselor.
His story is typical of a Habitat homeowner, a person who is willing to work but just needs a little help to make it happen.
"Since we built the first Habitat house in 1994, 56 have been provided the opportunity for homeownership," Tredway said, emphasizing that people who are helped by Habitat are partners not recipients.
Habitat families have a mortgage, but it is a no interest mortgage. They are also given training so they understand all the ends and outs of home ownership.
He noted that for many Habitat partners, home ownership can be a mysterious process.
"Home ownership has not been a part of their family history," Tredway said. "Not only are many the first homeowner in their family, but the first homeowner in several generations."
He noted that introducing home ownership to a family can make other family members realize that dream can come true for them as well, as long as they are willing to work for it.
"Before too long we'll have the closing and sell the house to him," Tredway said. "He will have a 30 year mortgage. The trademark of Habitat is that we charge no interest. We sell to partner families who pay back what it costs Habitat."
With Jobe's house complete, Habitat of Wilson County is already plotting the next project - next June the group is undertaking a two house mission.
"Next June we are going to build two houses simultaneously," Tredway said. "We haven't finalized the locations yet. One will be a faith build so Wilson County churches who want to help should call me. The other will be a women build, so any women who want to help can call me as well."
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Habitat partner family can learn about how to qualify by calling Joy Reynolds at the Wilson Division of Habitat at 453-4539. Potential groups or individuals who want to volunteer for a build may contact Tredway at the same number.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.