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Habitat dedicates Deltaville house

Habitat for Humanity of Middlesex president Greg Chambers hands Evelyn West the keys to her new house in Delta Shores subdivision in Deltaville. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi

Tears of joy filled Evelyn West’s eyes as she accepted the keys to her Habitat for Humanity (HFH) house on Saturday, March 22.

The modest house in the Delta Shores Subdivision is the sixth house built by Habitat for Humanity of Middlesex, said HFH-Middlesex president Greg Chambers.

During Saturday’s open house, West explained she has been struggling to pay $750 a month in rent for a house trailer that was expensive to heat and cool.

Chambers said that one of HFH’s goals is to try to eliminate substandard housing. The Wests had been living in an older trailer with no insulation, insect issues, and heated by an oil furnace that was too costly to use. “So they got by with kerosene heaters,” he said.

West said she had to trim her grocery list so she would have money to pay utility bills. “It’s so draining to not have money for anything else,” she said.

That will change on Tuesday when she signs the deed (see related story). West will make house payments that are in keeping with her salary as a teacher’s aide at Middlesex Elementary School.

More good news is that her new house should help with her allergies to mold. The house she had rented inflamed her allergies and those of her 3-year-old grandson, who also will be living in the new house. “It’s still surreal,” said West. “When I wake up in the house, then I’ll know it’s real.”

Three generations will benefit from this Habitat house. Living in the new house will be West, her two daughters, LaShae and Tiara, and two grandsons.

West said she didn’t think she would qualify for a Habitat house, but a friend got her an application. After the first meeting with HFH, West still wasn’t sure she would ever get out of her squalid living conditions. Then she got that good news phone call. “I was so happy I screamed,” said West. “I just couldn’t believe it . . . the Lord is amazing!”

All HFH families are required to perform 400 hours of labor. “Evelyn and family members have easily exceeded this requirement,” said Chambers. “They have been involved throughout, but helped most in painting the house.”

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 03.26.2014

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