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July 4, 2012

Greene Co. Habitat dedicates New Horizons

LAKE OCONEE — On June 10, “a rainy night in Georgia” more than 60 persons gathered to celebrate the dedication of two houses and the Habitat for Humanity community “New Horizons of Ludwig Place.” The two houses became the homes for Phong Choum and her three children Kalen, Kaya and Kameron and Evelyn Pope and son John. Theresa Kemp, chairman of the board of directors for Greene County Habitat reminded the attendees that “the houses are the products of the combined efforts of the total community and these efforts have helped the dreams of two deserving families come true. It takes donations of gifts and a lot of work by many volunteers to complete the houses and two loving families to complete the two homes.” Both homeowners thanked the Lord, the volunteers, and the community for helping their dreams of “having a better place to raise their families” come true. Habitat International has reported outstanding success rates of homeowner stability through home ownership. Statistics show there are tremendous advantages to home ownership versus renting. Homeowners are 12 percent wealthier, 25 percent more likely to graduate from high school, 116 percent more likely to graduate from college, 59 percent more likely to own their own home within 10 years of moving out of their parents’ home and 20 percent less likely to be involved in teenage pregnancy.  Owning a Habitat home empowers individuals, allowing them to take charge of their lives and build a better future for their families.

Habitat for Humanity was established in Greene County in 1996 by John Ludwig. The first house was built in 1997, and since the first house, 36 houses including a Habitat community have been dedicated by Greene County Habitat for Humanity.  In 2008 the GCHFH Board of Directors, under the leadership of chairman, Theresa Kemp decided to take a “major step in faith” and buy seven acres of land to build a Habitat Community.  In November, 2008 GCHFH broke ground on the infrastructure for the $1.3 million subdivision. Three years and seven months later they dedicated the last two houses built in the subdivision and the subdivision of New Horizons of Ludwig Place. One homeowner wrote that moving into the Habitat neighborhood changed her life. She has now finished her GED, enrolled in college, gotten married, and has a safe place to raise her family. Habitat for Humanity International offers numerous advantages and benefits to the homeowners living in a Habitat community. A neighborhood community, which clusters the Habitat for Humanity homeowners, provides a built-in support group for the families. They are surrounded by other homeowners all working together toward building a better environment for their families and taking pride in their homes.  

Theresa Kemp, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated: “This subdivision is a product of the total community working together and all of Greene County should be proud of these accomplishments. In just more than three years, seven acres of farm land has been develop into a community of 15 happy families that includes 43 people enjoying a better life. The joy of hearing the young children playing in their backyards makes the efforts of building the subdivision worth every board sawed, every nail hammered, and every stroke of the paint brush.”  

Greene County Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian organization working to eliminate substandard housing in Greene County by building simple houses for families in need of decent homes.  For more information, contact Elaine Mathews at (706) 453-1718 or volunteer@gchabitat.com.

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