Habitat for Humanity dedicates new home
The dream of becoming a homeowner as opposed to being a renter became a reality for Annette Boykin last week as the Escambia County Habitat for Humanity dedicated their latest project on H.K. Matthews Drive.
“This is unbelievable,” Boykin said at Thursday’s event. “It’s a blessing and I am so proud to have this home.”
Shae Hines, executive director for the local non-profit organization, said the completion of the project has been a while in coming but has been made possible by many people.
“We are so excited to have this home completed for Ms. Annette and her family,” Hines said. “We are thrilled to actually be at a place where we can dedicate this home for such a deserving person. We have worked with some wonderful people including several volunteers over the past four months to make this a reality for our newest partner family.”
The family, which consists of Boykin, her son and grandson, will be partners with Escambia County Habitat for Humanity for the next 20 years as they work and pay for their home.
“This family joins more than 20 other families that are partners with us and are paying on a mortgage so they will own their own home,” Hines said. “They will also be working with us on other projects that include building and renovations to make homes for other families in our county.”
Those who are chosen to be partner families are required to put in hundreds of sweat equity hours and meet certain guidelines before they can receive their home.
“We require 450 sweat equity hours which means they have to put in some work on their home and homes of others in our program,” Hines said. “There is also a cash down payment they have to make to show their commitment to owning a home. The total cost of the home is then spread out over a 20-year mortgage and monthly payments are required to keep the home. Unlike a traditional mortgage, our mortgages are made available to those who may not otherwise qualify for a home loan.”
Participating in Thursday’s dedication were members of the board of directors for the organization as well as those who worked on the renovation of the home. Pat Poole, who dedicated himself to work on the home of the Boykin family was on hand to present a hammer to the homeowner.
Keys to the home and a homeowners manual was presented by board vice-president Deidre Samuel while the Rev. Willie J. Blue presented a bible to the family and offered a prayer of dedication and safety for the home and its new owners.
Funds for projects of the Escambia County Habitat for Humanity are raised during special events and fundraisers of the group as well as proceeds from the sale of items found at the Habitat Restore.
“We are lucky to live in a community where people see needs and work to meet them,” Hines said. “We are also fortunate to have something like the Restore that helps us to raise additional funds through the sale of donated items from the community.”
Following the ribbon cutting by board members and Boykin, the home was officially opened to allow the family to begin their transition into the home.
“I have rented a home on Dacus Street for the last 20 years,” Boykin said. “I could have been paying on a home that was mine during that time, but never had that kind of opportunity. There is no question that God has blessed me. I can’t wait to move in.”
To learn more about homeownership through Escambia County Habitat for Humanity or to find out how you can be a volunteer for upcoming projects, call the office at 867-0095 Monday through Friday or visit their offices inside the Restore at 1606 Douglas Avenue. To donate items for resell in the Restore, call them at 867-5659. Arrangements for pick-up of larger items can be made by calling the Restore or Habitat office. All donations are tax-deductible.