Habitat Dedicates Gibbs Family Home in Brief Sunday Ceremony

November 16, 2008
Dwayne Page
Felicia Gibbs and Children Dasia and Tristan
Felicia Gibbs and Children Cut Ribbon to their new Habitat Home
Felicia Gibbs and Children surrounded by Habitat Board Members

A formal dedication ceremony was held Sunday afternoon by members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County to commemorate the recent completion of the second partner family home at 214 Adams Street in Smithville.

Felica Gibbs and her children, 5 year old Dasia and 2 year old Tristan, moved into the home in June. Ms Gibbs says the family loves their new home and are thankful to everyone who helped them. “I love it. It’s absolutely wonderful. The kids really seem to like it and they are adjusting well. We just want to say thank you to everybody who contributed to the possibility of us having this house and our enjoyment in being here.”

Nolan Turner, President of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, says everyone associated with the organization is proud to be able to make homeownership a reality for this family. “We’ve been a long time getting this house completed but we’re proud of it and we’re proud for Felicia and her family. This is a three bedroom house, about 1,100 square feet, with a porch and a small back deck. The house also has some space underneath for storage. It’s a nice frame house.”

The brief dedication ceremony featured opening remarks and a prayer by Board President Turner followed by scripture reading from board members Glenda Davis and Sharon Evans, quoting Mark 12:28-31 and I John 3:16-18.

Board member Laura Stone led the Responsive Reading: Litany of Life. “With gratitude to God who has provided the materials and given us strength to build this house.

We dedicate this home.

To the deep and abiding love that binds the Gibbs family together,

We dedicate this home.

To the understanding, patience, discipline and forgiveness essential for the growth and fulfillment of the Gibbs family,

We dedicate this home.

To the vision, courage, faith and hope that make life cheerful and serene,

We dedicate this home.

To the beauty and order and cleanliness that provide a wholesome atmosphere and elevate the spirit of Christian living,

We dedicate this home.

To the training of the bodies, minds and souls of all who live within these walls.

We dedicate this home.

And lastly, to the work of God’s kingdom in the world and in cooperation with His church,

We dedicate this home to the glory of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

Gary Johnson, Construction Committee Chairperson, formally presented Ms. Gibbs with the keys to the home and she and her children then cut the ribbon.

The program ended with the group reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Turner says fundraising efforts will begin soon toward the construction of a third Habitat house, though the location has not yet been determined. “We’re going to start raising money to build the next house. We’re cleaning off some land now to build the next house. Hopefully this next year we’ll have the third house underway. We’re debating on whether we’re going to put it here (Adams Street) or not. We have some land over at the end of Snow Street that we’re hoping to develop into a Habitat Village that will probably accommodate five to seven houses.”

Tecia Puckett-Pryor, member of the Habitat Development Committee, says it’s exciting to be able to bring homeownership to families in need. “It’s really exciting to come down Adams Street and see these two beautiful houses and I encourage anyone who has not been by Adams Street lately or ever to come down and check out the two Habitat houses on this street. When we bought this land, it was abandoned. There was an old trailer that had been burned out and trash on the property, but we cleaned it up and were able to build two houses and now we have two families who are new DeKalb County homeowners. We’re excited about that.”

Denise Perry and her children became the first Habitat partner family.

Pryor says Habitat will soon be seeking applications from potential partner families for the third house.” We look at need and the family’s willingness to partner with Habitat because they have to do a lot of work with us. We also look at their ability to pay as well. We’re targeting people who can’t qualify for governmental programs but who also can’t qualify for conventional financing. We’re helping those people who sort of fall in the middle. They have to be in inadequate housing to begin with to even qualify but we will be opening up applications for our third house probably in the winter or spring of 2009.”

Pryor says members Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County are also appreciative to the community for their support. “We would like to say thank you to all the groups, organizations, and churches that have helped build this house. It takes many, many people to get this done. We also thank everyone who supports Habitat through either the Chili Cook-off, the Fiddler 5K, or those who give us donations. We appreciate everybody who supports this cause.”

Board President Turner also added his thanks. “We want to thank the churches who contributed very much to building this house. A lot of churches pitched in and helped build it. It’s a great experience for people who aren’t even trained to build. A lot of them learned those skills here. We’re thankful to the people of all those churches who came and helped us out. We appreciate all of the volunteers, because it was volunteers who really built this house.”

The 2007-08 Board of Directors include President Nolan Turner, Vice President Tom Janney, Secretary Nancy Lewis, Treasurer Glenda Davis, Michael Antoniak, Marie Blair, Robin Driver, Sharon Evans, DeDe Johnson, Gary Johnson, Jason Lohorn, Casey Midgett, Steve Osment, Pam Restrepo, and Laura Stone.

(Bottom Photo- Felicia Gibbs and children Dasia and Tristan are surrounded by Habitat Board members: left to right: Glenda Davis, Michael Antoniak, Gary Johnson, Nancy Lewis, Laura Stone, Tom Janney, Sharon Evans, and Nolan Turner)

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