Mississippi College

Clinton Habitat Home is Dedicated

August 4, 2014

A newly dedicated Habitat home in Clinton was a labor of love for the Mississippi College family, businesses, churches and others around the community.

“We did everything from painting to repairing sheet rock,” says Shari Barnes, director of MC’s Community Service Center. “The home looks great.”

Shari joined more than 75 Mississippi College faculty, staff and students working on the Habitat spring renovation project. The home’s future occupants, April Scott and her five children, teamed with the city’s volunteers to make the project a success in the Cherry Park subdivision.

An imaging specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Scott attended the August 1 dedication ceremonies with Habitat supporters. She praised the outpouring of volunteers taking on a variety of assignments.

“I love the community of Clinton and really appreciate all of the volunteers who came out to work on my house,” Scott said. “The volunteers and staff at Habitat are like family.”

Mississippi College junior Carol Ann Stevens, 19, loved every minute painting and putting other finishing touches to modernize an existing residence for the Clinton family.

“It was a lot of fun and really exciting to be part of it,” says Stevens, a business major on the Clinton campus. “The neat part is that a Habitat family will live in the house.”

MC service clubs and tribes, honor societies and other organizations pitched in during their five weeks of work. Campus Dining, MC’s food service provider, supplied free lunches to the Baptist-affiliated university’s crew of volunteers on weekends.

With the project completed, April Scott and her family are anxious to move in as a new school year begins in early August.

“We have always rented, so it is going to be great to have a place we can call our own,” Scott says. Her five children, who attend Clinton public schools, are just as delighted.

Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area Executive Director Cindy Griffin joined Friday’s ceremonies to thank volunteers and welcome the Scott family. It’s among the latest Habitat projects that have housed more than 591 families in metro Jackson communities since 1986.

The Habitat affiliate in Rankin, Madison and Hinds counties is rated among the top 20 in the United States. Habitat projects in the USA and in over 90 countries have helped more than 1.75 million people with housing needs since the birth of the non-profit in 1976.

“Over the years our philosophy has remained steadfast – giving families in need of decent housing a hand up, not a hand out,” Griffin said.

The Habitat affiliate offers an opportunity for qualified families to partner with the organization for a zero-interest, 30-year mortgage. April says her new monthly mortgage will be $200 less than the rent she was paying for a previous residence with numerous problems. With new doors and windows, her remodeled Habitat home is more energy efficient and will help her save.

With the Clinton project finished, Mississippi College students will sign up for more Habitat builds this fall and spring. Students always enjoy their labors, Shari Barnes said. “They see the results immediately,” says MC’s Community Service Center leader. “It gives students hands-on experience and they give back.”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity in metro Jackson, email Merrill McKewen, resource development director, at mmckewen@habitatjackson.org.

Photo: Habitat supporters join members of the April Scott family at the dedication of the renovated home in Clinton.

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