Florence Habitat for Humanity announces next partner family
By: William M. Mingus, III
The board members for Florence Habitat for Humanity surprised a local family on Wednesday, April 17th.
When Con’stella (Stella) Brailey walked into the ReStore on Celebration Boulevard, she did not know how much her life would change. The board members gathered together to announce that she would be the recipient of the 45th family partner home. Brailey, a single mother of three children, Za’vion (11), Dylan (10), and Mahogany (2), were selected by the family service committee as the next family partner.
Upon hearing the news, Brailey’s first words were, “when do we start?”
Debbie Edwards, executive director of Florence’s Habitat for Humanity explained what it takes to be selected by the family services committee. Recipients must fill out an application, show a willingness to work with Habitat for Humanity, be able to pay a mortgage (30 years, no interest), take educational classes, and they must dedicate 300 work hours or “sweat equity”. These hours can be earned by helping build their home (or other’s homes if there is a project in progress), participating in Habitat for Humanity events, volunteering at the Greater Florence Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and children can even receive credit for getting good grades in school. “We are teaching them to give back, our motto is, ‘It’s a hand up, not a hand out’,” Edwards said.
India McLellan, part of the previous partner family was in attendance for the announcement. Her home should be completed sometime next month.
Brailey said she found out about the program through a member of her church
After meeting with the family to determine their needs, Habitat will put together a house plan and the next step will be a groundbreaking ceremony.
The location of the Brailey home will be on West Vista Street. Usually the homes take five to six months to build, depending on the weather, number of volunteers, donations, and home sponsorship. Volunteers come from churches, colleges, high school students, all across the Florence area. The corporate home sponsors will also send employees to come work on the home as well.
Brailey said that her parents, two sisters, brother, and her church family at Supernatural Miracle Deliverance Healing Center in Lynchburg will assist in helping her with the new home.
Proceeds from Habitat for Humanity’s upcoming Cinco de Mayo event will go towards the Brailey’s house. The event will take place on May 3rd at the 100 block of South Dargan Street from 5:30 to 10 p.m. There will be music, cultural food, cold drinks, a kid’s zone, a costume contest and much more. Admission is free.