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Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity, Gulfstream complete home for veteran
Savannah Morning News - 6/4/2018
June 03--The Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity has given a home to another local family, with help from Gulfstream Aerospace and its local employees.
Late last year, the Gulfstream team began its plans for the construction of Coastal Empire Habitat's 143rd house, a blue house with blue door on Elliot Avenue
On Sunday, Habitat and Gulfstream volunteers dedicated the house, which will become the home of 11-year Army veteran Kia Williams and her family in a couple of weeks.
Habitat for Humanity home recipients must complete 350 sweat equity hours, which means spending time volunteering with Habitat on other projects -- everything from painting homes to installing plumbing and insulation.
"I had to dedicate all my Saturdays to this" Williams said. "I learned how to put nails in correctly, we had to put grass in today. I learned how to do that. It's stuff I would've never known how to do."
Her children, Heberon and Jada Brown, helped Williams work on the house as well.
The homes are sold to partner families by the nonprofit, and the new owner's mortgage payments go back into Habitat's funds, which are then used to build more homes.
163 Gulfstream volunteers contributed more than 1,000 hours to construct Williams' new home.
"We excited to be able to help sponsor. We had a large number of employees contributing over 1,000 hours of volunteer work," said Derek Zimmerman, President of Product Support for Gulfstream. "We're just excited to be part of it."
Gulfstream's sponsorship included coordinating volunteers and resources from the community. Some facets of the home were constructed at the airport.
"It took a lot of time and effort, but we're just happy to be a part of it," Zimmerman said.
Harold Tessendorf, the Executive Director of Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity said the thrill of completing a house is always satisfying.
"I'm extremely proud. We're tired, but we're also highly energized to continue doing this work, because we know that housing is so important," Tessendorf said. "When you get housing correct, then all the other things flow together. Children who grow up in a home that is stable are more likely to be healthier, graduate school on time and break the cycle of poverty."
Williams said she was excited to finally get moved in.
"I can't wait to make this space mine and just start living," Williams said. " I've got a lot of pictures to put up on the walls."
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