Courtesy Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers
MILTON – Three lucky Milton families were able to celebrate Christmas in new homes thanks to Habitat for Humanity.
The first home was built for the Banks Family, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Claude and Rhonda are the proud parents of four children ages 7, 8, 9 and 11. Claude was able to transfer his position with Whole Foods in New Orleans to Harry’s Farmers Market in Roswell. The Banks family home is part of the annual "Ecumenical Build" and is sponsored primarily by local churches including St. James UMC, St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, St. David’s Episcopal Church, Roswell Presbyterian Church, Alpharetta First UMC, Roswell UMC, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Northview Church of Christ and the Roswell Convoy of Hope, and by one civic partner, Phi Phi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The second home was built for the Groves Family. Mary Ann and her 15 year old son were also victims of Hurricane Katrina. Mary Ann and her son came to Alpharetta to live with her daughter temporarily. This second home is also a part of the Ecumenical Build with Mt. Pisgah UMC and St. Brigid Catholic Church as the primary sponsors. This was a significant event in that it was the third time the local churches in North Fulton have partnered to build a home in the Centennial Village development. In total, 11 local churches joined efforts to build the two homes.
The third home was built for the Abderrahmane family. El Habib and Louiza have two children ages 1 and 5. They are originally from Morocco and have lived in the North Fulton area since 2000. El Habib is employed at a local Publix supermarket. The sponsors for Abderrahmane family home were Cisco Systems, Travelers, BB&T and Ashworth College.
At a dedication ceremony held before the holidays, all of the families thanked the volunteers and sponsors for their efforts. Claude Banks said that he was "truly blessed because his family finally has a place to call home."
Habitat for Humanity of North Central Georgia has a long-standing history of providing affordable housing to deserving families. Since its inception in 1993, 186 homes have been completed and approximately 750 family members have been served in the North Fulton, Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth Counties.
Families are chosen on the basis of need for adequate housing, ability to pay the mortgage and their willingness to partner with Habitat. Each family is required to attend 10 educational classes and perform 300 "sweat equity" hours, 50 of which must be completed by each spouse on their own home. Family members work side by side with the volunteers and Habitat staff to build their home. These families not only get to experience the pride of homeownership but they also know that their lives will be changed forever.