Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity (RCHFH) has received funding and support from several area businesses for the first of two "House of Faith" builds in 2017. The project marks the 142nd Habitat home built in Rutherford County since 1989 and will be in Smyrna, TN where RCHFH has built several homes. Construction will begin January 27th and the house is expected to be completed by April 8th with a House Dedication and Ribbon Cutting event soon after.
The purpose of Habitat's "House of Faith" Build is to bring churches, faith groups and faith related businesses together from across the county to fulfill faith-based principles of compassion and service to the community. Churches are participating with volunteers for the construction, lunches for the construction crews and financial donations to cover costs of the building materials.
Habitat Future Homeowner Andrew and his family immigrated to the United States three years ago from Egypt so they could raise their family in an environment where they would be free to practice their Christian faith and feel safe. In 2013, their names were drawn in a free immigration lottery. The family took a leap of faith, left everything they had ever known and all they had worked for, to start a new life in America. Pointing to the words "In God We Trust" on a dollar bill, Andrew proclaims, "This is why we came to America!"
Andrew and his wife Engy have completed Habitat's 30-week Financial and Homeowner Education Program which prepares Habitat homeowners to buy their house through a 0-interest mortgage, manage their finances, and sustain their home. They have also worked much of their 400 hours of "sweat equity" on other Habitat builds and are looking forward to working on the construction of their own house. The unique Habitat plan allows Future Homeowners to become invested in their home, the Habitat program and their community.
Funding for this project, like many Habitat for Humanity builds, is a partnership of several businesses and organizations including a generous donation from Tom and Robbie Hooper along with their company Polymer Technology & Services, and a grant from the Rotary Club of Smyrna, from funds raised at their annual Wings of Freedom Fish Fry. Additional support is being provided by Pinnacle Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (FHLB) as well as the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) for a HOME grant from HUD. A grant from United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is helping with the homeowner's closing costs and CAHEC (Community Affordable Housing Equity Corporation (CAHEC) has provided a grant for energy efficient homes.
Tom & Robbie Hopper and Polymer Technology Services also recently funded a Habitat build in LaVergne, TN for RCHFH's 2016 House of Faith Build with the Richardson family. The house was the 8th house that RCHFH built in the LaVergne subdivision of Lake Forest and several faith groups participated with volunteers and support.
The Rotary Club of Smyrna has supported RCHFH for many years with both house builds and Neighborhood Revitalization (NRI) projects. Last year they sponsored the construction of the house next door to this current build site on West Enon Springs Road. The Town of Smyrna donated both properties to RCHFH.
"We're very thankful to the Town of Smyrna for their support and donation of this property," states Terri Shultz, Executive Director RCHFH. "Finding affordable property for us to build on is one of our greatest challenges, and it's especially nice to have it donated!"
Rotary members and employees from Polymer Technology & Services will participate in the construction of the house and faith groups, individuals, and schools are invited to join in the build. Volunteers should contact Megan Hutchings at the RCHFH office (615-890-5877 x106, email@example.com). Construction will begin January 27th and volunteer days are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.