Jones is a lifelong Grady County resident with two adult daughters and a number of grandchildren, all of whom live in Cairo. She is widowed and disabled but, luckily, her new Habitat home is just down the street from one of her daughters, who offers her mother assistance when needed.
Before becoming disabled, Jones worked in Grady and Thomas counties all of her life, holding jobs at Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and Sunnyland. She is a member of Bethlehem A.M.E. Church in Cairo.
Jones applied for a Habitat home for three years before finally being selected as a recipient this year. “Her faith and persistence kept her going, and this was her year,” says Kathy Harris, a member of the local Habitat chapter’s family selection committee.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry, founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, that aims to “eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action,” according to a Habitat fact sheet.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses that are sold to “partner families” – selected through an application process – at no profit and financed with affordable loans. In Grady County, Habitat builds about one house a year, often on land donated by the city of Cairo, Harris says.
“We are serving people (‘partner families’) who normally don’t qualify for a traditional mortgage by not charging interest on home loans. But they will pay back their loans, and the home will be theirs,” Harris adds. “It’s through donations of time, money and talent from a lot of people in Grady County that we are able to make this contribution to our community.”
Anyone “in need of decent shelter” may apply for a Habitat home, though the Grady County chapter won’t accept applications until it begins its new homeowner recruitment campaign next fall, Harris says. Following a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection, the local Habitat chapter’s family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the loan, according to the Habitat fact sheet.
For information on volunteering for the Grady County Habitat chapter, contact John Monds at 229-378-5600 or email@example.com. For general info, visit www.habitat.org.