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Habitat hopeful to build locally

POSTED: June 27, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Officials with Habitat for Humanity remain hopeful about building homes in Dawson County.

"We would love to build in Dawson County," said Mary Lamond, the group's North Central Georgia director. "Our biggest struggle is land, finding land at a reasonable price."

Speaking to the Dawson County Rotary Club last week, Lamond said habitat would gladly accept land donations, if the land is buildable.

"We were offered some land up here. We went and looked at it and couldn't build on it. It can't just be land. It has to be buildable land," she said.

In addition to acquiring the land, $80,000 must also be raised to build a home.

"Our biggest challenge here in the county is to get the funds into Dawson County. Most of our sponsors are either corporations, churches or civic groups," she said.

With the closing of Nordson in Dawsonville earlier this year, Lamond said the manufacturer's planned sponsorship fell through.

Lamond said it could be possible to find corporate sponsorship for local projects if the Dawson County community could contribute at least half of the cost.

"If we had at least half of our funds gathered or committed to by Dawson County, then we could possibly get someone like a UPS or a Wells Fargo to come up here," she said.

Several families from Dawson County have applied for assistance, including Bethany Berg, a single mother of two teen sons who moved into her new Habitat for Humanity home in northern Forsyth County last summer.

She said being selected by the organization gave her an opportunity for home ownership she would not have had otherwise.

Elder son Ian said no one deserves that opportunity more than his mother.

"It means a lot to me that Habitat is doing this for us, giving us a place that we can afford and call our own," he said.

The Bergs were the first Dawson County family approved for home ownership after a group of local volunteers formed nearly three years ago with plans to extend Habitat's presence in the area.

Lamond said there are numerous opportunities available for individuals interested in joining the cause, including the committee that selects applicants to become homeowners.

"We are still looking for members of that committee. It's pretty interesting and it gives you an appreciation of what we put these folks through to even get them to the approval process," she said.

Lionel Graves is the only representative from Dawson County currently serving on the family selection committee.

For more information, call (770) 886-4939.

 

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