Published Saturday, January 12, 2013

Habitat's 'Hands Up' kicks off with Corn Crib project

From Staff Reports

religion@newnan.com

Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity has held a couple of events to kick off the new Hands Up program.

Stacey Boydell, the new development manager with Newnan-Coweta Habitat said Habitat, joined forces with a couple of groups to get the Hands Up program started. Jack and Jill of America – Fayette Coweta Chapter and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church in Peachtree City both “lent a helping hand by cleaning up the Corn Crib neighborhood front entrance and providing food for volunteers,” Boydell said.

“Hands Up is a repair initiative through NCHFH for homeowners, especially veterans who are given priority, that is designed to help revitalize the appearance of neighborhoods and preserve Coweta County,” Boydell said. Area residents interested in participating in Hands Up should call NCHFH at 770-252-9049, extension 10.

At Corn Crib, Hands Up volunteers made repairs to the Corn Crib entrance sign and trimmed bushes and shrubs in front of the sign. They also “cleaned up trash” near the “entrance to Corn Crib neighborhood,” Boydell said.

Plans for Hands Up were announced in the summer. Hands Up is an acronym for Housing And Neighborhood Development Strategies.

The program is designed to serve low-income homeowners with home repairs.

The initial focus of Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Hands Up has been in three areas: Domineck Street, Corn Crib and Beverly Park – with veteran applicants from those areas receiving priority. Through Hands Up, Habitat for Humanity hopes to help revitalize the appearance of neighborhoods, strengthen connections within the community and preserve Coweta County’s housing stock, according to Leslie Merriman, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate.

Hands Up will address home repair in three categories:

A Brush with Kindness addresses exterior home preservation/beautification issues.

Weatherization focuses on repairs to reduce energy consumption.

Critical Home Repairs will address interior and exterior issues which may affect the health and safety of the occupants.

In keeping with Habitat’s philosophy of giving “a hand up not a handout,” every homeowner will be required to complete sweat equity hours on their home or on someone else’s home in the program – a minimum of eight hours.

Each approved applicant’s financial situation will be carefully reviewed and a combination of required monetary and/or volunteer contributions will be determined. The repayment amount is based on each homeowner’s financial situation and may be waived or reduced.

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