DOBBINS HEIGHTS — James White said he feels blessed.
The longtime resident of Richmond Village Apartments in Hamlet is the future owner of a home scheduled to be built in September by Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills.
“Nobody in our family, there’s six of us, nobody ever had their own home or tried to get their own home,” he said. “I hate I didn’t apply earlier. I put my faith in the good Lord that I’ll be here to see this house and to live in this house. If you’d known me five years ago, and to know where I come from, I’m just so blessed and thankful. I really am.”
New Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church hosted Habitat’s monthly luncheon Thursday, where a call was made for volunteers to help with the build.
“We need lots of volunteers,” said Thom Mann, construction manager. “We’d like to have — every Saturday for at least the first month — 20 people out there. We need to get the house dried-in and get a roof on it very quickly, and so starting September 10 and the next four Saturdays after that, we need a full crew.”
“We’ll be back with some sign up sheets,” operations manager Terry Gaar said. “You can go to our site, sandhillshabitat.org, and go to ‘Volunteer Here.’ If you’re not already registered with us you can sign up. It’s a great thing to bring a friend out and introduce them to Habitat, learn some new skills and do some building.”
Gaar stressed that volunteers do not have to do construction, but could also provide drinks or help with lunches for the builders.
Mann and Gaar invited guests at the luncheon to the Aug. 25 home dedication at the site on 109 Robert Broady Lane, adding that it is important to RSVP.
“If you do not RSVP, there’s no chicken dinner,” she said.
Free chicken dinners sponsored by State Employees Credit Union and the Franklin T. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation will be served to the first 100 guests who RSVP, but Gaar said that more than a hundred people are welcome to attend in support of the home dedication.
White enjoyed the luncheon with his grandson, Jasiah Smith and brother, Mike White — who will also be living in the house. James White said his brother currently resides down the street from him, also in Richmond Village, and that consolidating households will save his family money.
“Right now, we’re paying two different sets of bills,” he said. “But we’ll be living together and won’t have to worry about that once we move into the house.”
Gaar emphasized that Habitat for Humanity does not give homes away.
“We make homes affordable with a zero percent mortgage,” she said. “It means our families are able to afford these homes. We build them to high energy standards so that utility costs are very low.
And our families have to qualify for these homes. They have to establish themselves and have good credit. And Mr. White knows, because we put him through this and he passed with flying colors. And didn’t have to have a down payment. And you take classes on finance.”
Gaar said volunteer educators for the classes are in demand as well as builders and meal preparers. There is also need of congregation partners — or, churches in the community that wish to participate in Habitat events and “Apostle’s Builds” in which twelve congregations join forces to supply funding and volunteers for construction projects.
The public is invited to the home dedication at 6 p.m. August 25, at 109 Robert Broady Lane in Dobbins Heights.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and to volunteer, call 910-295-1934.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.