Union County Habitat dedicates two more houses in Marshville subdivision
For two Union County families, the dream of owning a home is now a reality. Union County Habitat for Humanity dedicated two homes Saturday, Aug. 27, to the families of Tjuana Richardson and Patrice Covington.
The two houses are the 84th and 85th Habitat homes constructed in Union County. The homes are also the latest projects completed in Union County Habitat’s first subdivision, Gulf Bay Estates, located in Marshville. The subdivision will be a community of 19 Union County Habitat-built homes on a total of eight acres.
The dedications were a part of Union County’s annual United Way Day of Caring project. Wingate University students visited the site to landscape the area as part of the event.
Workers took a break to witness the official dedication at 10 a.m. Union County Habitat executive director Mike Reece presented both Richardson and Covington with the keys to their new homes.
Richardson, a mother of six children, received a five-bedroom, two-bath house that was part of the Women Build Houses event, sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse, Inc. Volunteers from the Monroe store donated their time to the project, and the company provided a $5,000 grant to put toward the costs of construction.
As part of her requirements prior to receiving the home, Richardson completed 350 hours of work on her house. “The fact that we helped build (the home) helped us really appreciate it more,” said Richardson. “It’s been really humbling.”
Covington received a four-bedroom, two-bath house for her and her four teenagers. The home was Union County Habitat’s annual “Steps of Faith” house and sponsored by a total of 12 Union County churches, each of which provided volunteer groups and financial contributions.
Owning a home has been Covington’s dream for quite some time.
“I wanted to somehow get ahead and achieve my goal of owning a house,” she said. “I gave (Union County Habitat) a shot, and here I am. This is a very exciting date for me, and we’re ready to go.”
According to Valarie Belk, Union County Habitat’s office manager, construction of the two homes, which took approximately 16 weeks to complete, went smoothly. “Everything’s been just what we expected,” said Belk. “The weather’s cooperated and everything’s worked out well.”
All Habitat-built homes are sold to the recipients at cost, considerably reducing the amount paid monthly. In addition, all the homes are supplied with a residential fire sprinkler system and are Energy Star houses that will cost a maximum of only $42 to heat or cool.
With the two new homes completed, Union County Habitat has no plans to slow down. The organization is already working on the exterior of two more homes and plans to start construction on an additional two lots in September or October. The entire neighborhood is expected to be completed in September 2012.
Gulf Bay Estates isn’t the only Union County Habitat project. The organization is reaching out to the Pageland, SC area to build homes and, hopefully, eventually start a Habitat branch in Chesterfield County.
Habitat officials also continue to put forth time and effort into the recycling service, which collects plastic bottles and containers, aluminum cans, and cardboard materials and uses the funds to put toward its housing projects.
For Habitat workers and volunteers, constructing a home isn’t just a job or a project; it’s a chance to reach out to members of the community.
“You get to see other people given opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Belk. “It’s great to help them work through this process and achieve their goals.”
Richardson and Covington both understand the concept of perseverance and taking chances. “It takes a lot of effort and dedication, but it’s very exciting, and God was on my side,” said Richardson.
Covington, who plans to go back to school and work on her degree, hopes that her opportunity to receive a Habitat house will serve as an inspiration to others. “What I want to say to people (in the same situation) is to set your goals,” she said. “If you set your goals and look ahead and don’t give up, you’ll achieve them.”