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Habitat opens newest home

Photo by NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY Pete Corkern hands Theresa Smith the keys to her new home during the house’s dedication Friday afternoon.

Photo by NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY
Pete Corkern hands Theresa Smith the keys to her new home during the house’s dedication Friday afternoon.

At the corner of Choctaw Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Friday, a new Brookhaven home was dedicated by Habitat for Humanity. 

“A tremendous amount of merchants and individuals contributed and donated a lot of material for the house,” contractor Pete Corkern said. “I enjoy doing it because so many local people donated materials and time.”

The home is 1,128 square feet, has three beds, one and a half baths, a full living room and kitchen. The homeowner, Theresa Smith, did all the painting herself.

The home took 10 months to design and build with between 50 and 100 volunteers.

Smith applied to become a partner with HFH in 2010 and was chosen in 2011. Smith said she moved into her former home in 1996, which was constructed well before her move. After 19 years of renting the old home, Smith said it was time for her to try and get something on her own.

“It’s been a learning experience, learning about running wires and painting,” Smith said.

She said HFH partners are required to volunteer 250 hours.

“But I know I went over,” she said.

Smith thanked Habitat for Humanity for letting her partner with them.

“It’s such a great feeling to say I am actually a home owner,” she said.

During his speech at Friday’s dedication, HFH Brookhaven Vice President Fletcher Grice said that the organization is “a partnership with people,” and Smith had gone above and beyond what a partner does.

Grice’s daughter was a recipient of a home from HFH, which caused him to get involved with the organization. He announced the next partner had already been chosen and called for more volunteers from the community as they gear up for the next project. The organization will be constructing a fully handicapped accessible home for a young woman who was left partially paralyzed after a car accident.

“This all happens because of the community,” HFH Brookhaven Executive Director Emilee Cutler said. “This house is just a testimony for how the community can come together to help each other.”

For more information about the Habitat for Humanity or to find out how to volunteer, call the Brookhaven office at 601-833-4061.