Room To Move

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Lincoln County division of Habitat forHumanity dedicated its first new home in over a year to aBrookhaven family Sunday.

    La’Tasha Washington and her four children, who have lived in theirnew home on Grenn Street for about a week, welcomed visitors,friends and Habitat members into the house to celebrate.

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    “It’s truly a blessing,” Washington said of the new home. “Before,we were living in a three-bedroom apartment in a low-income housingauthority area. It was cramped and crowded, but now everyone canmove around the rooms.”

    Washington applied for Habitat to build her family a new houseabout two years ago.

    Emilee Cutler, executive director of the Lincoln County Habitat forHumanity, explained Washington had to put in her application andhave it reviewed. Once approved for criteria such as income leveland current living conditions, the application was accepted.

    Then Washington had to attend application class. There she learnedabout the agreement she would enter into with Habitat if they wereto start building her family the much needed, more spacioushome.

    Washington learned about the loan program Habitat offers.

    “Our loans are no interest at all,” Cutler said. “But it’sunderstood that they do have to pay back for all of it.”

    Washington also had to agree to the organization’s “sweat equity”principle. Through this equity option, Washington agreed that shewould contribute to the labor of not only her new home, but Habitathomes before and after hers as well.

    “We call it partnering with us,” Cutler said. “La’Tasha has waiteda long time for this. Since she put her application in, it’s beenabout a two-year wait.”

    In the backyard, a new magnolia tree has been planted in honor ofViola Cupit, a longtime Habitat member who could not be present forthe dedication because she was in the hospital.

    Washington’s four children can finally walk around their housewithout bumping into each other.

    Jevareyun Washington, 16, said his favorite part of the new houseis his room.

    “I’m glad for all the space we have,” he said. “I don’t have to runover anybody anymore.”

    Robert Bell, 12, Washington’s youngest, also has his own room nowwhere he can watch his own TV set.

    Washington’s twin daughters A’leyua Bell and A’lexus Bell, both 14,share their own room where they finally have enough closet space toput all their clothes.

    “My favorite part is my room,” A’lexus said. “It’s big andpretty.”

    While the other children all said their rooms were the favoritepart of the house, A’leyua said something different.

    “I love the kitchen,” she said. “I like to cook and I love all thespace there is now so everybody can be in there.”

    Washington, meanwhile, said it was hard for her to choose just oneaspect of the house as her favorite.

    “I like it all,” she said. “The entire house. I’m just sothankful.”