Halifax County continues to push back against homelessness, and the Carrington brothers recently cleared property at 313 Wickham Street in South Boston in preparation for Tri River Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer staff to build its 16th house.
Donnie Wesley and team of Donnie Wesley Masonry were busy laying the foundation block for habitat’s newest house on Monday morning.
It was November of 2016 when habitat volunteer staff cut the ribbon on their 15th home as proud family members Virginia and Anthony Taylor and their four youngsters achieved a goal they have longed for — a home of their own located at the intersection of North Main Street and Cole Street in South Boston.
Since 1987, the Tri River Habitat for Humanity has been constructing a house every 20 or so months for working people suddenly hit hard by a bad economy or personal crisis.
Robert Hughes, the executive director of the Tri County Habitat for Humanity, is a man on a mission: “To build, in partnership with God and a community of supporters, decent, quality homes for deserving people in need.”
He added, “And we’re not going to stop until there are no more vacant lots here to build on.”
Hughes and other volunteers are going about this next building project “a little different this time.”
Instead of a “ground breaking,” the organization plans to have a “house raising” ceremony and presentation in the very near future, he said promising an announcement will be made soon.
According to Hughes, for this house plans are underway to have volunteers build the walls in a warehouse and transport them to the Wickham Street location for the “house raising.”
“In the meantime, we desperately need volunteers – initially with some building or home repair experience – especially in the beginning stage,” he added.
Hughes and company are now focusing their sites on the Wickham Street community where they have plans of building a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood of houses in coming years.
The important thing to understand about Habitat for Humanity, said Hughes, is this is not “free housing” or a handout. The screening process for applicants is a thorough one, involving credit income and employment checks – a lot of paperwork.
The new homeowners also are responsible for contributing 250 hours of hands-on work in the construction of the house, and as the title/deed becomes theirs, the responsibility to repay a 30-year mortgage and take on the costs associated with home ownership (insurance, maintenance, etc.) belong to them.
Families and other volunteers interested in working with Tri River Habitat for Humanity should contact volunteer coordinator Josie Turcotte at the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce by calling 847-421-7614 or emailing her at email@example.com.