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From cold to hot, Juan & Telma’s home build was a study in extremes

Though the sweltering sun was making steam rise knee-high above the road outside, Juan and Telma couldn’t stop thinking about the time they had spent buried under multiple layers of clothes as they hammered nails into their home.

Construction for their Poole Place home began in January of this year, and the extreme weather had made the experience memorable for both the family and volunteers. One volunteer even recalled spilling hot coffee and seeing it freeze before she was able to find something to clean it up with.

Now, five months later, Juan and Telma are dedicating their new Habitat home, and are eager to move in their four children – Jackie, 16, Juan Carlos, 13, Carlos, 10, and Eric, 8 – whose excited footsteps echoed through the house as they ran in and out of their soon-to-be-bedrooms.

“We’re doing this for them and I think what I’m going to enjoy the most about having this home is knowing that my kids are content and that they’ll get to have their own rooms,” Juan said.

Though the two youngest boys will still share a room, they’re looking forward to the extra space. “It’s all about the bathrooms anyway,” Eric joked. “We all shared one at our house now and it got pretty crowded.”

Juan and Telma learned about Our Towns Habitat through a friend and decided to apply for a home in 2017. They were living in Huntersville at the time, but were struggling to pay their high utility bills.

After being accepted to the program, they began completing their 400 sweat equity hours, and enjoyed being able to work on their own home and on other Habitat homes. As a machine operator working in the construction field, Juan was no stranger to building projects, but he still felt that he gained a lot while working with Habitat.

“I learned how to do things that I had never learned before, like laying shingles,” Juan said. “It was also nice because we were all united out there working together. I ended up meeting a lot of friends.”

Though their children couldn’t help with most of the construction work, they did help plant all of the flowers in front of the house, and Telma is excited about getting to do more as a family after moving in.

“There’s a path right out there,” she said gesturing out one of the side windows, “and I’m really looking forward to taking walks out there as a family. There are a lot of cars where we live now, so we almost never get to walk together.”

Though the weather is drastically different than it was when construction began, Juan and Telma are just as excited and grateful about finally having their own home.

“Everyone that has helped us – all of the volunteers and the people from Habitat – are such good people,” Telma said smiling.

“We just want to say thank you to everyone who helped,” Juan said. “We’re so happy to have our own home and we plan on staying here for as long as possible.”

Juan and Telma’s home was partially sponsored by Publix Charities. Volunteer groups who worked on the home included Lowe’s, Elevation Church, Radiant Life Fellowship in Huntersville, Davidson College, Kohler, Community School of Davidson, Hough High School, the Cannon School and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

About the Author: Hannah Bain is a rising junior at N.C. State University, where she is studying public relations, Spanish and nonprofit studies. She is serving as a development and communication intern for Our Towns Habitat, focusing on capturing the stories of new and existing Habitat homeowners.

Cost-saving ReStore salvage program gets a reboot

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity is bringing back a popular program that can help local homeowners save on renovation projects, while also funding affordable housing programs in North Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

The salvage program saves homeowners on demolition costs associated with most remodels, by sending deconstruction professionals to carefully extract and remove cabinets, countertops, sinks, toilets and more. These services are offered at no cost to homeowners, who agree to donate all items removed for resale in local Habitat ReStores.

“Many homeowners end up paying a contractor to come in with a sledge hammer and destroy usable fixtures, which end up filling up our landfills, but the salvage program offers an alternative,” said Jamie Jenkins, the new Salvage Manager. “This way, you save money, you help the environment and you help build affordable homes.”

All owners of property in the Our Towns Habitat service area (North Mecklenburg and Iredell counties) are eligible to take advantage of this free service. Service will officially begin July 1, but property owners may begin submitting service requests now, online or by calling 704-896-8957, ext. 204.

Donations received through salvage are resold in the Mooresville, Cornelius and Statesville Habitat ReStores. Much of the cabinetry obtained through salvage is funneled to the Mooresville location, which as the most retail floor space. All Habitat ReStores are open to the public, reselling gently used and new household items and building supplies, at a fraction of retail prices. All proceeds support Our Towns Habitat’s affordable housing program.

The salvage program was put on hold last year, due to staffing changes and planning requirements to open a new Statesville ReStore location. Director of ReStores Dawn Bumgarner said it has been a priority to revive the program, given its ability to generate revenue and its popularity with both homeowners and shoppers.

“Salvage is a great way to support Habitat mission, and it provides a no-cost alternative to demolition, so it really is a win-win for everyone involved,” Bumgarner said.

Thomas, Godley & Grimes Home: Framing the Walls

Our Towns Habitat for Humanity is thrilled to be working with the Thomas, Godley & Grimes law firm to build a new Habitat home for a Mooresville family. This firm handles many real estate closings in the Lake Norman area, and they are partnering with local real estate agents to build this home. It is a unique model that truly exemplifies the Habitat mission of putting God’s love into action, by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope!

The team at Thomas Godley & Grimes is so excited about this special project that they are vlogging (video blogging) it all! Check out this video from Week 1 of their build, when they framed the walls for future homeowners Luis and Elana, who look forward having stable, affordable housing for their four children. Stay tuned to watch the walls go up, the roof go on and the floors go in!

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