National News

Habitat home dedicated Wednesday afternoon in Albany

Posted July 21

— Flint River Habitat for Humanity, along with its partner, First Presbyterian Church, braved the heat Wednesday afternoon and held a ribbon-cutting/dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion and transfer of ownership of a newly renovated home on 16th Avenue.

"It is hot today, but we wanted to hold this ceremony," Flint River Habitat Executive Director Scooter Courtney said. "The house was donated to us by a family here in Albany. After the original owners passed away, the house sat empty for a little while and even had some homeless people living in it. Once we got it, we partnered with First Presbyterian Church downtown to make this possible."

Courtney explained that Wednesday's ceremony was the culmination of a project that began in November of 2016.

"We started this right before Thanksgiving last year," Courtney said. "Flint River Habitat builds and rehabs decent and affordable homes for those who qualify. The homes are sold at a low cost and with a no-interest loan. This house today that Ms. Snipes will take possession of was completely gutted. We tore out floors, refinished floors, installed new tile, completely refurbished the kitchen and bathrooms. It was a complete makeover which, of course, could not have been done without the help of First Presbyterian. They put over $25,000 into it."

First Presbyterian pastor Josh Bower presided over the small, but jubilant ceremony, saying that volunteers who took part in the project were "doing God's work."

"It has been almost a year ago when Scooter called me as the fairly new executive director of Flint River Habitat for Humanity and said, 'Hey, there's this house,'" Bower said. "From there, a partnership emerged. A lot of the people who are here today actually had their hands in this project. We're honored to have everyone here this morning to celebrate this process together. I feel like we are doing God's work."

Nicole Snipes, who has three children and is employed by Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, said home ownership is a dream come true.

"It is very overwhelming, I am loving every moment of it. I am just like, wow," Snipes said. "It is a life-changing experience for us. The process made it faster for me to purchase a house. I was looking to purchase a house, but this process made it faster. I am very thankful for Habitat, their program and what the community does to help people become homeowners."

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