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Habitat for Humanity Gaston engaged in several local projects

Jan 09, 2020 09:33AM

Standing on porch: Tawana Brown, Bridget Hatten, Omarri Mills, Amarie Booker. Standing on ground:  Jim Little, Oyaffa Clinton, Christion Christian, Tywannia Horne-Christian, Octavius Mills, Demetria Mills, Jerry Scoggins, Jeannie Kirby. Photos provided by Habitat for Humanity Gaston

Edited by Alan Hodge

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Habitat for Humanity Gaston had a busy 2019 and 2020 is shaping up to be an even better one with several projects currently underway in Belmont, Stanley, and Gastonia. The Belmont and Gastonia houses will be completed in late winter, with the Stanley house finished in the spring.

Founded in 1988, Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County (Habitat Gaston) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit and an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a widely respected global brand.  The group seeks to eliminate poverty housing and to advocate for affordable housing as a matter of conscience and action. Habitat Gaston builds simple, decent housing with help from volunteer labor, the “sweat equity” of partner families, and community investment of money and materials.

Habitat Gaston is committed to making the dream of homeownership a reality and putting families on a path to grow and thrive.  When families own a Habitat home, they have less stress and instability in their life, and they contribute to their community when they pay their property taxes.  

“A Habitat house is a permanent solution for a family struggling to make ends meet,” said Kay Peninger, executive direct Habitat for Humanity Gaston. “Their mortgage the family is paying is usually half the amount of market rate rent. And when you aren’t stressed over food, money, medicine, or utility payments, you can begin to thrive and flourish. Homeowners who are paying property taxes take an interest in their community and begin to plan for a future for themselves and their children. A Habitat home creates a win-win situation for the family and for the community.” 

Clinton Family House – 312 Todd Street, Belmont

Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County and Gaston Area Presbyterians (GAP) are partnering to build their 14th house, which is for the Clinton family. GAP is an abbreviation for Gaston Area Presbyterians – it is an effort by the county-wide Presbyterian churches.  Members from each church volunteer on the house and each church contributes financially to the house. 

Oyaffa Clinton is a single mother with six children and one grandson. She works full-time as a business consultant with Wells Fargo and as a part-time travel agent with Planet Marketing. 

“My oldest child Tre is the protector in the family,” said Clinton.   “He loves giving advice to his older siblings and he is a great father to my grandson. My oldest daughter Alexia is outgoing, hardworking and very helpful with her younger siblings. My middle daughter Rickaija enjoys working and playing basketball. My youngest son Terren loves to write and make his own music. My youngest two daughters are both smart and respectful. Auria made all A’s during the past school year and she loves to sing. Alayah is the youngest – she is very outspoken and a momma’s girl.”

Clinton continued. “A Habitat home will give me the opportunity to make memories for my family. We can finally feel comfortable and safe in our own home. Having a stable place to live is very important – it will make a big impact on my children and their education.”

Mills Family House – 421 James Adams Avenue, Gastonia

Emetria and Mary Mills are mother and daughter co-applicants. They will be residing in a Habitat house located at 421 James Adams Ave in Gastonia. Demetria and Mary have experienced hardships in the past few years, which has led them to rely on each other for support and guidance.  They have joined together to earn a Habitat house and bring stability to their family.  Mary is raising her granddaughter after her other daughter passed away suddenly.In addition to Mary and Demetria, the home will be shared with Demetria’s son Omarri, Mary’s granddaughter Ty’Asia and her newborn son, Santana.

Demetria and Mary are looking forward to owning a home and leaving behind the substandard housing conditions in their apartment, and lessening the stress on their family.

Jackson Family House – 408 N. Mauney Avenue, Stanley

Shana Jackson is a mother of two young children.  She is a full-time employee at Hanesbrand, Inc for three years.  Shana grew up in a Habitat home and knows the pride and joy it brings to a family.  She wanted to earn her own Habitat home so that “I have a home where I can raise my children and we can call it our own.”

Habitat Gaston is looking forward to 2020 in other ways.The coming year will see Habitat Gaston crafting a powerful vision for the future by taking part  in the Women Build national event in March 2020 and offering a Critical Home Repair program in the spring of 2020.