Sunday June 4th, 2023 3:28AM

Habitat for Humanity dedicates two homes in south Hall Wednesday

By Joy Holmes Multimedia Journalist

Habitat for Humanity handed-over house keys Wednesday to two families at a dedication ceremony at Copper Glen subdivision in southeastern Hall County. 

“We’re really grateful and ready to move in,” new Homeowner Miracle Adkins said at the ceremony Wednesday alongside her young daughter and the Mitchell family, who were selected to move into the home across the street.

"I'm just very thankful and I thank God for putting the [Habitat for Humanity] application in my dad's hands, gave it to me and the rest is history," Kreneeshia Mitchell said.

Habitat for Humanity of Hall is a non-profit organization that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope, according to its website.

The organization thrives to help hard-working, low-income families purchase a home through self-sufficient building, Executive Director Lila Weaver said.

“[Homeowners] go into a pool that meet the criteria and were selected [by a Habitat committee] with the most need,” Weaver said. “Basically, it’s either their living conditions, the situation where they are currently housed and financial situation because they have to go through a mortgage process.”

Habitat for Humanity homes are not given away but are sold to families who can finance the property. The organization is an in-house mortgage lender and applies zero-percent interest to home loans, which helps make the homes affordable, Weaver said.

The organization could not fulfill its promise to provide affordable housing without low labor costs.  Homeowners must agree to 260 sweat equity hours, while adult children are expected to contribute 100 hours to the project. Those same families must also agree to put in volunteer hours at the future homes of others, Weaver said.

Habitat homes are not solely built with Habitat homeowners. The non-profit relies on regular volunteers and donors to help fulfill its mission, according to longtime volunteer Tom Reiter who spoke at the dedication ceremony Wednesday.

“In that 10 months and two days [it took to build both homes], there have been 348 individual volunteers working these houses for a total of 4,413 hours,” Reiter said. “If we had to hire day laborers at $15 an hour to do what those volunteers did, it would cost us $66,200 and it would no longer be an affordable house.”

The organization is dependent on its volunteers, whether they can donate monetary funds or manhours.

Conner Proffitt, a 10th-grade student at Gainesville High School, spent some of his spring break days on-site with Habitat for Humanity. He laid straw, pressure washed, installed appliances and cleaned and prepared homes for move-in day, he said.

“Knowing what I am doing for these two families and that they may spend the rest of their lives here and make good memories here, giving them this opportunity makes me feel pretty good about myself and makes me feel like I am giving back,” Proffitt said.

Habitat for Humanity is three homes away from filling its 21-lot Hall County neighborhood. The organization will break ground on the remaining lots Saturday, April 7.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit its website.

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Habitat for Humanity dedicates two homes in south Hall Wednesday
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