Habitat dedication: Stewart home marks 19th for group

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Habitat Volunteer and Builder Andrew Walton, left, presents a construction hammer to Habitat's newest home owner, Canisha Stewart.

Habitat Volunteer and Builder Andrew Walton, left, presents a construction hammer to Habitat’s newest home owner, Canisha Stewart.

Delays in the construction of Canisha Stewart’s home didn’t hamper the joy of the new homeowner Sunday as members of the Habitat for Humanity of Escambia County conducted dedication and ribbon cutting ceremonies for the 19th project of the group.
Stephanie Walker, president of Habitat, said the ribbon cutting to official open the home for dwelling was a long time in coming.
“I know that Canisha and her family have been anxious to get into their new home,” Walker said. “There have been some delays, but we are happy to have this dedication and have this home ready for the family to move in.”
Stewart said the day had been a busy one with moving out of an apartment and getting ready to move into the home built by Habitat volunteers on Dacus Street.
“We are ready,” Stewart said. “I have everything packed up and ready to move into the house. I’m overwhelmed at this opportunity.”
Alecia Glaize, director for Habitat, said the delays were unavoidable, but will ensure safety and energy efficiency for years to come for the Stewarts.
“We are happy to see the home completed and ready for Canisha and her family,” Glaize said. “We’ve had some delays, but those delays have made it possible for us to offer a structurally safe home for the family as well as a home that will be as energy efficient as possible. That will mean that Canisha and her family will be saving some serious money on their energy costs for years to come.”
The house — larger than most Habitat constructions — will be the home for Canisha, her two daughters and her mother.
“This is a three bedroom, bath and a half home,” Glaize said. “We really thought the additional space would be necessary since this is a house full of women. That additional space is one of the reasons this home took a little longer to build than a typical Habitat construction.”
On hand for Sunday’s dedication were friends and other family members of the Stewarts as well as volunteers who had helped to build the home for the family.
Frank Scott, a Habitat volunteer from the beginning of Brewton’s group, said he was happy to see the completion of the home.
“This makes 19 good homes that have been built right here in the Brewton area,” Scott said. “These houses make good homes for families and most of the homes I’ve been back by have been in good shape.”
Stewart joined Glaize on the porch of her new home to sign a symbolic mortgage for the home.
“These homes aren’t free,” Glaize said. “The owners will pay a 20-year, interest-free mortgage for the home. The money they repay will make it possible for Habitat to continue to build homes in the county.”
Habitat for Humanity for Escambia County is currently in the process of building a home in the Atmore community for Debra Smith and her son, Dillon. The home being built — on South Road in Atmore – marks the 20th project of the group.
“We are always in need of volunteers,” Glaize said. “We have an on-going project in Atmore and plans are already underway for more Habitat homes in the county.”
For information regarding scheduled work days for the building project for the Smith family, details and directions to the home site are available on the Habitat for Humanity Website at  hfhescambiacounty.org.
For details on volunteer opportunities, or for information on becoming a Habitat for Humanity recipient, contact the local Habitat office at 809-0095 or inside the Habitat Restore on Douglas Avenue.