Habitat aims to house local families in need

Published 7:46 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There was a lady with small children who lives in a homeless shelter — and the woman who lives with her mother and four others, including her children — and the gentleman whose house is in deplorable shape that had to catch a ride to the Jemison Fire Station on Tuesday.

All were among about 30 applicants at the first of two Habitat for Humanity meetings for potential homeowners.

“We had a room full of people,” Habitat president Jane Conradi said.

It was the first meeting for applicants since 2006, and the start of what the organization’s members hope to be a new start. The biggest hurdle is finding the means to help more families in less time.

“We hope to get at least one family a year at a minimum, and we’d like to increase it to serve more per year,” Conradi said.

The local Habitat affiliate has built six homes since 2003 but finds itself wanting to expand to areas outside Clanton and dissuade myths about Habitat — for example, some are surprised to find Habitat homeowners have to pay a mortgage which goes back into the organization to help build more homes.

This week’s cold weather serves as a reminder of the mission to get families into more comfortable housing.

“Those of us who are sleeping in warm houses tonight need to be aware of those who do not have adequate heating for their family,” Conradi said.

The next meeting is tonight at 5 at the Chilton County DHR on Airport Road. For more information call Marilyn Colson at 280-2005.