CLARKSVILLE, TN — Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee celebrated its 5,000th house built in the state of Tennessee with host affiliate Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, TN (MCTN) on Thursday, Nov. 17.
State and local officials as well as volunteers and key partners came together for a ceremony at the future home of Judith in Clarksville. The home, sponsored by local real estate company Byers & Harvey, is currently under construction.
City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden, Byers & Harvey owner Todd Harvey, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) Executive Director Ralph Perrey, and Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (FHLB) VP Todd Berry shared words of support during the celebration of this milestone. THDA and FHLB are both partner organizations of Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee.
During the ceremony, the Byers & Harvey team dedicated the construction of the home to the late Berry Hedrick, who was a supporter of Habitat for Humanity locally. His son, Syd Hedrick, serves on the Habitat MCTN Board of Directors and works with Byers & Harvey.
Future homeowner Judith and her daughters also shared their own messages of gratitude and hope during the ceremony, including a heartfelt poem dedicated to Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity MCTN celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year. Since its inception, the affiliate has built more than 100 homes in partnership with local families living below the poverty line.
“We’re proud to share this milestone with our fellow Tennessee Habitat for Humanity affiliates,” Habitat for Humanity MCTN Executive Director Rob Selkow said. “Each of these 5,000 homes contains a unique family story and it’s a privilege to play a part in them. We also celebrate the volunteer spirit that empowers families through safe, affordable shelter.”
Future homeowner Judith is a working single mother of three young daughters. She has devoted nearly 250 hours of sweat equity to be eligible for an affordable mortgage through Habitat for Humanity MCTN. She and her family struggled through personal setbacks as well as rising rents over the past several years, and they are ready to take the next step toward homeownership. After being priced out of the market, Habitat for Humanity was Judith’s last option.
“When you have a home, the stability that provides is priceless. I’m glad Habitat is able to offer that to us,” Judith said.
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to sign the studs inside the home, a time-honored Habitat tradition in which volunteers leave words of encouragement, scripture, and other messages on the boards.
Tennessee consists of 50 Habitat affiliates that serve 62 counties. Each Habitat affiliate is a grassroots organization that is locally operated by a board of directors from their community. Every affiliate is financially self-sustaining and all affiliates function under the umbrella of Habitat for Humanity International.
“Celebrating this milestone with Judith and her daughters is truly an honor,” said Colleen Dudley, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee. “While we celebrate this 5,000th build, we also celebrate repairing or renovating 2,000 homes and improving the lives of over 25,000 children and adults in Tennessee!”
Special thanks to: City of Clarksville, Montgomery County Government, FHLB Cincinnati, THDA, the Byers & Harvey team, and Living Hope Church Pastor Derek Smith.
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Habitat for Humanity MCTN serves low-income families by partnering with them to build decent, affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with qualifying Montgomery County families, has completed more than 100 houses since 1992, using donated funds, labor, and materials. The Clarksville-based ministry is seeking individuals, churches, and local companies for volunteer projects related to eliminating poverty housing in Montgomery County. Information at (931) 645-4222 or visit www.habitatmctn.org.