Work is moving along slightly ahead of schedule on the 110th home built by Habitat for Humanity of Horry County. Volunteers are starting interior work and the house for Gwen Simmons is scheduled to be completed by March 2013, says Herdie Mathews, director of volunteers.
Construction started Nov. 1 and 45 volunteers, many of them from Sea Captain’s House and Brittain Resorts Management, worked to start the house on Watts Avenue. The house is a dream come true for Simmons who grew up in the neighborhood and has owned the land since the passing of her parents. Volunteers, typically 20 at a time, work on Wednesdays and Saturdays. They are under the direction of site leader Tom Sutton, a veteran volunteer for Habitat who has worked on 70 of the Habitat houses here. Bill Powlas is the Habitat staff construction manager.
Habitat of Horry County has a holiday fund drive to “celebrate our 110th Habitat house in Horry County,’’ according to a a letter mailed to friends of Habitat. “Many families right here in your community sleep each night in places that are cold, damp or unsafe. We want to provide them with a safe, affordable shelter over their head and we need your help!’’
Habitat houses are largely constructed by volunteers and individual, church and corporate donors provide funding and material. Examples of what financial contributions provide include $100 for one countertop (three needed per home), $50 for one unit of lumber (102 needed per home) and $25 for one interior door (eight per home).
The Habitat webpage explains how the program works: “Habitat builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with those in need. Homes are sold at no profit and no-interest mortgages. Habitat does NOT give houses away.’’
Typically, the new owners invest hundreds of hours of sweat equity helping build their own homes and homes for others. House No. 110 is sponsored by Sea Captain’s House as part of its 50th anniversary year commemoration. The popular restaurant in Myrtle Beach provided the full $70,000 cost.
Mathews says Habitat of Horry County also has rehabilitation programs in which $12,000 to $15,000 covers the cost.
Habitat for Humanity of Horry County built its first houses in 1991. “For 21 Years Habitat has built homes for people in need in Horry County. To cope with these tough economic times, we have reduced our expenses but not our house building,’’ the letter says.
On five continents and in 3,000 communities worldwide, Habitat for Humanity has built 500,000 houses sheltering more than 1.75 million people. Habitat was founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Ga., in 1976. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn are among the prominent supporters and volunteers for Habitat.
In Horry County as in thousands of other communities, Habitat for Humanity has a tremendous track record of helping people buy their own homes. It’s a solid program based on sound principles and worthy of widespread community support.