Twenty-five years and 500 homes...it's a milestone worth celebrating and that's just what Habitat for Humanity-Metro Jackson did Tuesday night.
They wore suits and ties and evening dresses, and held glasses in their hands, but the people attending the event in downtown Jackson are just as comfortable in blue jeans and t-shirts; armed with hammers and paint brushes. For 25-years, Habitat for Humanity in Metro Jackson has been changing lives, building affordable houses, then selling them to low-income families, at cost, with no profit or interest. Now, 500 homes later, it was time to celebrate.
Elise Winter said at the podium, "I'm grateful to each of you for being here."
From the beginning, it was Elise Winter's vision and support that drove the success of Habitat for Humanity-Metro Jackson. Because of that dedication, the wife of former Mississippi Governor William Winter, became the first to receive an award called the Elise Winter Founders Award. There was even a videotaped message from former President Jimmy Carter.
Cindy Griffin said, "And it's really a culmination of three events, we've had a picnic with all 500 habitat families. We're building the 500th house and now we're celebrating with supporters."
Cindy Griffin, executive director of Habitat for Humanity-Metro Jackson says the work continues with the sweat equity invested by future homeowners and family and friends despite tough economic times.
She said, "Our next step? We're going to launch a new initiative, where we're gonna actually offer critical repairs for low income and special needs families as a way to deepen our impact in battling substandard housing in the neighborhoods."
And taking back Jackson neighborhoods, one house at a time.
The group is building homes in 10 Jackson neighborhoods. Englewood Gardens in southwest Jackson is the latest site where 22 homes will go up by 2012.
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