Building together: One house at a time

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The walls of Selma Habitat for Humanity’s 43rd home will be raised on Saturday, and Nina Capps, executive director, is expecting community volunteers to arrive at 232 Water Ave. at 8 a.m. with hammers in hand.

Throughout this week, brick masons have spread mortar and layed brick in stifling weather. The Habitat house’s permanent wooden foundation has also been installed, thanks to a $3,000 donation from Wachovia Bank.

Email newsletter signup

Located in one of the city’s many historic districts, the house was donated to Selma Habitat by the Campbells of Selma. The house must adhere to the neighborhood’s aesthetic values – metal roofing with a hardi-plank, an essential characteristic.

“The community seems to be excited we’re renovating the historic district,” Capps said on Wednesday.

Capps said it will take $50,000 to complete the house construction. Selma Habitat has raised approximately half that amount.

“We expect it to be complete in God’s time,” Capps said. “We have to have funding.”

Capps said the Selma community has been generous throughout the years, citing a 37-member church that donates $200 a month. Churches also make donations on a quarterly basis.

“And we have individual donations,” Capps said. “Last year we got one for $14,000 and you know when I opened the envelope I almost dropped dead.”

Selma Habitat also hosts charity events, including its first ever golf tournament at Ocmulgee Golf Course, where avid golfers raised $10,000. An auction is already scheduled for March 2008, Capps said.

Selma Habitat has narrowed down its lists of prospective homeowners, who must fill out an application and provide W-2 tax forms from the past three years. A committee reviews applicants based on their ability to partner with Selma Habitat in future projects and their ability to make an $1,000 down payment and pay for the home’s utilities. Capps explained applicants must also complete 300 hours of “sweat equity,” helping Selma Habitat’s future homeowners get on their feet.

“The people in the community trusted them enough to give them their hard earned money and a hand up. It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up,” Capps said. “It’s about breaking the cycle of poverty so their children and families can help somebody.”