October 10, 2016
On Saturday, October 8th, Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury dedicated three new, affordable homes to local families in need. These are the 6th, 7th, and 8th homes of 10 that the Habitat affiliate will complete this year by partnering with local churches, civic groups, businesses, and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency New Start Loan Program. Since early August, 608 volunteers have given more than 4,800 hours to complete these 3 homes. Sponsors include: Bank of America,Brentwood United Methodist Church, Bridgestone Corporation, Community Health Systems, CLARCOR, Eco-Energy, First Farmers & Merchants Bank, Franklin Christian Church, Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, Harpeth Presbyterian Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Human Capital Group, Jackson National Life Insurance Company,Knights of Columbus Council #7764, Rotary Clubs of Williamson County, Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, St. Philip Catholic Church, Twice Daily, Wells Fargo, and Williamson Medical Center.
Jermaine Claiborne can’t wait to close on his home and help his two young daughters, Mariah (6) and Savannah (4), pick out paint colors for their bedrooms. Recently divorced, his top priority has been to create a safe, healthy living environment for his girls. “They have been through a great deal, and I want to make sure they have stability going forward,” he explains. “Thanks to the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Program, we have a place that we can call home, permanently.”
Claiborne graduated from Centennial High School and went on to take business courses. Unfortunately, college had to be put on hold so he could provide for his daughters. For the last four years, Claiborne has worked as a custodian for Williamson County Government. He believes that having affordable, stable housing will help him “complete his education to open other opportunities within his current employer.”
Future homeowner Stacey Reed is also a single parent. After her divorce, she went through very difficult financial times. Reed’s family went from a typical family of four, living in a home that they owned, to a single-parent family, struggling to make ends meet. Reed points out it is a “situation that could happen to anyone, regardless of circumstances.”
“The past four years have been very challenging for me and my girls, Alexis (13) and Lacey (9),” Reed notes. “We lost everything after the divorce, including our home. We have been living with my mother for four years searching for a way to live independently that we can afford. It is extremely hard completing the sweat equity hours for this opportunity while being a single Mom with a full-time career, but my Mom always told me nothing worth having is ever easy. Habitat and my sponsors have given me the opportunity to give my daughters their very own home, something I could not have done on my own for them and for that there are no words to express how truly grateful I am!”
Like Claiborne and Reed, Kayla Baugh is a native of Franklin. Kayla attended Centennial High School and currently works as a cook for Williamson Medical Center. This experience is a familiar one to Kayla. Her mother was the 8th family to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County to build a home. “My mother was blessed to purchase a home from Habitat here in Franklin and as a result, I was lucky to remain in my hometown and grow up in a safe, healthy environment. I want the same thing for my family. However, housing has gotten so expensive that I’ve been unable to provide a place of our own for myself and my children. If it were not for Habitat for Humanity, I am not sure what our future would look like. I’m so grateful to this amazing organization and for all of the sponsors and volunteers who give their time and funds to help us build our home.”
In November, the homes will be sold to the partner families at no profit and with zero-interest, 30-year mortgages.