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There's No Place Like Home at Liberation Corners

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WARRENTON — People who thought they would never own their own home, are getting a chance in one of North Carolina's poorest counties. A non-profit group will start with 19 homes, then hopefully help more families.

This is the day Elizabeth Williamson thought she would never see. The single mother of three watched as work crews built her new house. A house she is getting throughFranklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity Incorporated, a non-profit group that is helping people of limited means own their own home in a place called Liberation Corners.

"It's a very happy day for me," Williamson said. "I'm very excited. I'm speechless."

Williamson's house will be the second home at Liberation Corners; 19 more will complete the neighborhood. The reality of Liberation Corners picks up where the unfulfilled dream of Soul City left off.

The new homes are going up in an area called Soul City. Civil Rights leader Floyd McKissick Sr. made the front page of theNew York Timesin 1972 when he started the project. But confusion over who was welcome in Soul City turned what was envisioned as a model city into a stalled effort.

Leaders of the latest effort say Soul City and Liberation Corners have always been open to everyone.

Liberation Corners leader William Owens said he envisions "a variety of people living in a variety of types of homes, and that have a variety of incomes and interests. With Soul City that didn't materialize, but we're trying to pick up right there because this is a well-planned neighborhood. I think it will involve people from all walks of life."

The new construction is an economic opportunity for Warren County and, for some families, hope for the future.

Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity is working with Warren County and the federal government to secure loans for expanding Liberation Corners.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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