Saralyn Lynch sits Monday afternoon in her northeast Forsyth County home with her 4-year-old son, Grayson, playing LEGOs. Saralyn’s daughter, Hannah, 11, crouches beside them.
Hannah and Grayson search a plastic bin for little hats to go on the heads of the tiny figurines, while Saralyn snaps together a few of the colorful, plastic bricks into something resembling that of a residential foundation.
Lately, Saralyn has had homes on the brain. Given the enormity of a recent milestone in her and her family’s lives, it’s easy to see why.
Lynch and her three children have been living in a cramped, two-bedroom apartment for a while now. That is, until Jan. 20, when they moved into their new home.
Habitat for Humanity selected Lynch as a recipient of the home and oversaw the project, which required the help of volunteers and sponsors.
According to a news release from Habitat for Humanity, the organization builds “simple, decent homes for purchase to low- to moderate-income families who demonstrate a capacity for responsible homeownership.”
Families like the Lynches are required to attend educational classes related to homeownership and perform 200 hours of “sweat equity.” Families selected typically earn between 30 and 60 percent of the Atlanta area median income and purchase their homes through a 30-year, no-interest loan financed by Habitat.
Since its inception, Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia has completed 300 homes, serving more than 1,275 families in North Fulton, Cherokee, Forsyth and Dawson counties.
Mary Lamond, director of family services for Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia, said Lynch was “great to work with during this process.”
Lamond said Lynch has been with the same employer for several years but “simply did not have adequate resources to save a down payment most mortgage companies require.”
For this opportunity to own a home, Lynch is grateful.
“I cannot say enough good things about Habitat for Humanity,” Lynch said. “They have done an amazing job from start to finish, and words just won’t express how happy, how grateful … it’s been so amazing.”
Added Lynch: “Now, we have roots. We can settle. I feel like for the last few years everything has felt so unsettled and now I feel like I have a home; I have a base.”
When she first learned she’d been selected, Lynch was surprised.
“I was like, ‘no way. Really?’ I couldn’t believe we got picked,” she said.
While the Lynch family’s home is complete, another is in the works in Forsyth County and will also soon be move-in ready: that of the Abbas Family, who moved from Alpharetta to be closer to their extended Forsyth County relatives.
Tab Abbas has three children ranging in age from 7 to 14, and their four-bedroom home will be completed in May 2018.
As Lynch sits playing LEGOs Monday, surrounded by her children, she said she still can hardly believe the home in northeastern Forsyth County is theirs.
Hannah said she likes “having an upstairs.”
Dina, 13, said it’s great “just having a house,” and not being in an apartment.
Saralyn said now that the family has been there a couple weeks, “it feels like home; it really does.”
As she finished the words, Grayson set down his LEGOs and wandered to his mother.
“Mom, I’m about to hug you,” Grayson said.
She laughed and embraced her son.
“These kids, they have a yard to play in now. They have space to spread out … this whole thing has just been incredible. We are so grateful.”