By the end of May, Mia Tate and her four children will have a house in Danville to call their own, thanks to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Tate, a certified nursing assistant, originally applied for a Habitat house in 2013, when the family lived in her mother’s one-bedroom apartment in another part of the city.
Construction on this house, located on Edmonds Street, off of South Main Street, began last April.
“It’s been a wait, but it’s been worth it,” Tate said as she looked up at the new home.
The blue, one-and-a-half story home has a deck, but no front stairs yet. Everyone entering and exiting the house did so through the side entrance and stairs. It will have four bedrooms, three for the children and one for Tate.
Volunteers from Goodyear Rubber and Tire Co.’s critical incident stress management team helped her put fluffy pink insulation into the walk-in crawlspace and laid baseboard molding around the living room Friday.
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The volunteers chattered among themselves, ignoring the buzz of the circular saw cutting the long, white pieces of molding. More experienced workers guided them on where to place the baseboard molding and insulation.
The requirements for a Habitat home are to show a need, through overcrowding, unsafe conditions, lack of accessibility or paying more than 30 percent of income toward housing.
Potential candidates must also be able to pay the 30-year, interest-free mortgage on the home. They also have to be willing to put in what is called “sweat equity” and help out with the construction.
“She has four children and they’ve all done their part, with construction or community events we’ve done for Habitat For Humanity,” Danville-Pittsylvania Habitat for Humanity Program Services Coordinator Karen Sgrinia said.
Tate was cutting and rolling fluffy pink strips of insulation Friday morning.
Normally, the houses are built entirely by volunteers.
“This particular house, because it’s multi-story, there were some parts that could not be done by volunteers,” Sgrinia said.
The roofing and siding had to be installed by a professional due to the height of the house. The cabinets were donated by local manufacturer Elkay, and the flooring by local manufacturer Mohawk.
Everything else has been done by volunteers, including Tate and her family.
“I actually helped build the house next door three years ago,” Tate said. “I actually think after this is finished I’ll keep volunteering.”
Two of Tate’s children attend George Washington High School as a sophomore and senior, and two attend G.L. Johnson Elementary School, as a fourth and first grader.
Two crews of five people from Goodyear worked on the house Friday.
“We do things outside in the community as well as for the employees at Goodyear,” volunteer Jean Burks said. “This is the first time with Habitat for Humanity, but we’ve done a lot with other organizations.”
Those other organizations include local nonprofit food pantry God’s Storehouse, the disaster-relief organization God’s Pit Crew and the domestic violence shelter Haven of the Dan River Region.
“We’ve got 10 people out here until 3 p.m. and we’re going to get as much done as we can,” Sgrinia said
Burks said that they had also raised more than $1,500 for Habitat for Humanity at the Goodyear plant in Danville.
“We’ve never lived in this area [of the city], but we’ll be just fine,” Tate said. “Home is what you make it.”
Ceillie Simkiss reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact her at email@example.com or (434) 791-7981.