PILOT MOUNTAIN — The smiles and laughter at The Greater Mount Airy Area Habitat for Humanity dedication of homes for the Heaton and Hudson families on Van Hoy Way seemed to take the edge off of a chilly wind Saturday.
“This happy occasion is not an ending but just another milestone in the journey into home ownership for these families,” said Habitat Executive Director Neil Cothren. “Seeing all of the excitement around the office reminds me a lot of relationships that have been built in the process. Together these families have helped on seven other houses contributing thousands of hours.”
Dobson Church of Christ Pastor Ralph Sproles prefaced his prayer and scripture reading by commending Habitat for its work in the county and to communities. He said he had a house guest recently from Joplin, Mo., who told him the organization had rebuilt more than 40 homes since a devastating tornado in May 2011.
“I have been the Hudson family’s pastor for five years and our church shares in their joy,” said Sproles. He read from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which referred to a wise man building his home on the rock while the foolish man build his home on sand.
The 1,144 square foot homes have three bedrooms and one bath each. The members of the Hudson family are Michelle and Johnny with their sons Josh and Daniel. The Heaton family’s members are Candy and her daughters Aaron and Taylor.
“These families will have two homes each,” Sproles said. “It’s as important to put just as much effort into building a spiritual house and as much attention on making it of as good a quality.”
Surry County Commissioner Larry Phillips joked with the participants and said the partnership which made the development possible was an example that government can make some good decisions.
“We are proud to have Habitat as a partner,” said Phillips. “I know from my own past experience that every time me and my wife moved to a new home we felt like The Jeffersons. We were moving on up. There’s something special about having your own home.”
Finance Director Sheree Russo pointed out that the donation of the property in October of 2009 made the development of the large parcel of land possible.
“Surry County has in the past and continues to play a large part in the focus of fulfilling our mission,” said Russo. “Now on this donated land, six more families in Surry County have a simple, decent, affordable place to call home.” She said the goal of the group is to serve six additional families in the calendar year 2014 and weather permitting, work will start in early spring with the organization looking in the direction of Mount Airy.
Those present for the ceremony include Pilot Mountain commissioners Linda Needham, Dwight Atkins, Cordie Armstorng and Gary Bell. Habitat Board of Directors members attending included Sandra Richards, Jennifer Key, Lindsay Willis, Glenn Dulaney, Bryant Brantley and Lucy Ellen Gwyn.
Russo said that Habitat for Humanity families have to qualify and pay for zero percent interest mortgage loans. She said Habitat makes no profit and the mortgage payments are used to build additional homes. Construction Manager Greg Russo said the homes are System Vision and Energy Star Certified.
The three criteria for participation in the Habitat program are demonstrated need, ability to pay and willingness to partner. Interested families may call 336-789-4663 for information.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-719-1952.