Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity dedicates 130th home

Published: Jul. 26, 2019 at 6:28 PM CDT
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More than a decade in the making, one Wiregrass family now has a new place to call home.

"Overwhelming, very excited, very blessed, long journey, but great!"

It's been a long road for Sheila Rodgers, but now she can add homeowner to her list of accomplishments.

"Well, it took me 11 years, and we had to do 500 hours. 300 hundred on other projects, and then 200 on mine," Sheila said.

It's a proud day for the mother of two, and also an exciting day for her 11-year-old daughter, Yzabellah, who now has her own room for the first time.

"I want to paint my room sky blue, or gray, and then whenever I get my bed in here, I want to put lights under my bedframe," Yzabellah said.

Sheila has worked tirelessly over the years, meeting the requirements to get the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

She had to take classes on budgeting and caring for the home, in addition to those 500 hours of volunteering she mentioned with Habitat for Humanity.

Somehow, Sheila managed to get it done, all while juggling two jobs and being a full-time mom.

"I was living with my mom, me and my two children because I have a son who's in the Navy that's 23, and we were all three living with my mom in a three-bedroom house, which was…we had 13 people in that three-bedroom house."

So, how does this whole process work?

Well, Habitat puts up the money to build the home through sponsors and proceeds from their Re-store.

The Re-store is a thrift store, and it's unique because you can get building supplies, and everything you need to furnish the home.

But these homes don't come cheap, and despite popular belief, they aren't just given away.

"The homeowner gets an interest free mortgage that they have to pay over the years,” said Executive Director for Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity, Donna Clemmons.

“So, the houses are not for free, and they have to go through a long process," Clemmons said.

Meanwhile, Sheila is anxious to get settled in.

So what will she do on her first night in the new digs?

"Breathe (laughter). Just breathe, unwind and of course set up my beds because we are spending the night here,” Sheila said.

Bringing an 11-year journey to completion.

Clemmons tells WTVY’s Chasity Maxie that Habitat does not want the homeowners to turn around and flip these houses to make a profit, which is why the homes typically have a second mortgage; families have to stay in the home for at least 10 years.

This was the 130th house Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity has dedicated to a deserving families.