At first glance the Copper Glen subdivision in Gainesville seems like your average neighborhood. And Jeremy and Sandy Roberts with their children might seem like an average family. But there is one aspect about these two things that separate them from average- and that’s their involvement with Habitat for Humanity for Hall County.
That’s right- Copper Glen is a neighborhood dedicated to Habitat for Humanity homeowners, and the Roberts are its newest addition.
And today was a special one for the Roberts because it was their home dedication day, a Habitat for Humanity tradition of officially handing the keys over to the new homeowners. The four- bedroom, two-bathroom home is the thirteenth construction in the Copper Glen subdivision and the 65th overall for Habitat for Humanity for Hall County.
A large crowd of volunteers, Habitat for Humanity employees, sponsors and community members came out in support of the family. As part of the dedication the Roberts also received a Bible and tool kit to officially start their new homeowner journey.
Therefore, it’s easy to understand why Jeremy and Sandy were feeling how they were.
“A little bit overwhelmed, super excited,” said Sandy Roberts.
“I’ll agree with that sentiment and I want to add joyful and ecstatic,” Jeremy Roberts added.
The Roberts’ journey with Habitat for Humanity began around eighteen months ago. Jeremy Roberts came to work for the non-profit after suffering an injury at a previous job. In the meantime, the family was struggling to find a place to live after losing their house in the economic downturn of 2008.
After some time, the family began the application and approval process to become a Habitat for Humanity homeowner.
And the approval process isn’t easy. Applicants have to prove that they have a need, an ability to repay and willingness to partner. Applicants also complete 260 volunteer labor hours by working on the construction of a Copper Glen neighbors home along with their own and go through various financial and homeowner classes. And while a majority of the home is constructed through donated supplies, homeowners still have to pay their own mortgage, taxes and insurance.
While completing other requirements for their homeownership, the Roberts also worked on the construction of their own home. Jeremy and Sandy said this part of the process made their house feel like a home and wasn’t all hard labor.
“It’s something that I can literally call my own and it is, for lack of a better word my home,” said Jeremy Roberts. “And you have fun doing it, it’s not like everybody’s just out here nose to the ground throwing nails, you actually joke, you have fun and you learn things.”
And after so many hours of construction and classes, it’s no surprise that many close bonds have formed between the Roberts family and those involved with Habitat.
“It is amazing to see all of the caring people,” said Sandy Roberts. “A lot of the people keep volunteering and we’ve gotten to really know them and they’ve become more like family.”
And according to Christine Osasu, Director of Digital Media and Community Outreach, the feeling is reciprocated toward the Roberts and felt throughout the community.
“This family is so close to my heart,” said Osasu. “When Jeremy came in he was coming from an accident and he had stitches in his hand and he was here to work light duty. And I remember just sitting down with him one day in the breakroom and saying, ‘You are so incredible. You work so hard and you don’t have to.’”
No doubt about it, the Roberts’ home is one that has been built on the foundation of hard work, community, and most importantly, love.