Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Habijax Puts 24 in Homes Eastside Volunteers Put Heart into Goal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Habijax Puts 24 in Homes Eastside Volunteers Put Heart into Goal

Article excerpt

If you ask Tonya Anderson what she likes best about her new

Bridier Street home, she won't name a particular room.

Instead, she says, "It's mine."

"I love it because it's mine. And being able to have my own,

that's something I thought I couldn't have," said Anderson, a

clerk at the local office of the Department of Children and

Families. "It's a dream come true."

Anderson and her four children were one of 24 families to

receive the keys to their Eastside Habijax homes June 27.

Habijax is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity

International, a non-profit Christian housing ministry that uses

volunteers to build homes for low-income families.

Frank Barker, executive director of Habijax, said the

organization has built 47 homes this year, moving closer to its

goal of 100. He said Habijax plans to build 140 homes next year

and 200 in 2000.

Habijax homeowners must accumulate sweat equity -- 200

volunteer hours building someone else's house and 100 building

their own.

Anderson said helping to build her home made her realize its

worth.

"It feels great. It makes you respect it more and enjoy the

value," she said.

Working with other volunteers also was rewarding, said new

homeowner Pearline Dixon, a J.C. Penney employee.

Dixon said she appreciated all the volunteers she met.

"And all the kisses and all the hugs. It's like a big family,"

said Dixon, who now lives on Evergreen Avenue with her two

daughters. …

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