Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia held a First Nail Ceremony for three families last Saturday at the Villages of Park Creek neighborhood in Woodstock on the border of Cherokee County and Fulton County. Over 100 community members, sponsors, family members and Habitat staff and board members attended the ceremony. It was a beautiful day and everyone was extremely excited to put the first nail into the frames of three new homes. Construction will be completed on December 14th, in time for the families to enjoy the holidays in their new homes.
Two of the homes will be part of an annual ecumenical build where approximately 12 local churches join together to raise the funds and provide volunteers to build the homes. The third home is being sponsored by local businesses.
The first home will be built in partnership with the Rodriguez-Mora family. Tina and Victor have two children, Victor Jr. (12) and Victoria (8). The family has faced many hardships over the years including caring for an ill relative and, most recently, taking custody of a relative’s child in need. Tina work’s as a medical assistant. Victor is currently looking for work after losing his job when he had to take care of his ill relative. The family is living with Tina’s mother right now and is very excited with the prospect of having their own home where they can raise their children. Their home is part of the ecumenical build and is being sponsored by the following churches; Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Roswell Presbyterian Church, Roswell United Methodist Church, Saint Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Saint David’s Episcopal Church, Saint James United Methodist Church, Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
The second home will be built in partnership with Sylvia Koch, who is a mother of four. Two of her children are adults and the other two are still at home with her; Melissa (19) and Mary (16). Sylvia teaches music and Pre-K at a local school. She loves working with children and volunteering in the community. “I pray each day to help this world be a better place for you and me,” stated Sylvia. “It starts with each one of us sharing God’s words and love”. The Koch home is being sponsored by Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church and Saint Brigid Catholic Church as part of the ecumenical build.
Habitat is partnering with Bahaa Shafik and his wife Sahar on the third home. The two are proud parents of two children; Mariam and Androw. The family immigrated from Egypt about five years ago so that they could provide a better life for their children. “Everything has been wonderful except for our current living situation,” stated Mr. Shafik. “Our apartment is unsafe for the children. The windows leak and the air conditioning doesn’t work. There have also been several burglaries in the apartment complex.” The family is looking forward to having their own home. Bahaa has been working at a local supermarket for several years. The Shafik home is being sponsored by several businesses including; AutoTrader.com, GEICO, Schneider Electric Foundation and Employees, State Street Foundation and Wells Fargo.
Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia is a non-profit, Christian housing ministry that builds simple, decent homes for purchase by low income families who demonstrate a capacity for responsible homeownership. Since its inception in 1995, 243 homes have been completed and over 850 family members have been served in North Fulton, Cherokee and Forsyth/Dawson counties. Each family is required to attend 10 educational classes and perform 300 sweat equity hours. Families earn between 25% and 60% of the Atlanta area median income and purchase their homes from Habitat which provides them with a 30-year, no-interest loan. Family members work side by side with the volunteers, sponsors, and Habitat staff to build their homes. These families not only get to experience the pride of homeownership but they also know that their lives will be changed forever. For more information on Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia, please visit www.habitat-ncg.org.