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Habitat turns vacant house around
Family welcomed into new home
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Forsyth County News

At the end of a long driveway off Spot Road sits a little white house.

Once empty and in disrepair, the home officially welcomed its new owners during a ceremony on Thursday.

Kimberly Brooks and her teenage son, Dylan, received the keys to the house from representatives of Habitat for Humanity – North Central Georgia after putting in several months of “sweat equity.”

“Kimberly has done a great job of getting her sweat equity in, not only on her own home but also other homes before she started on her own, so I’m very proud of her,” said Mary Lamond of the Habitat office.

The house is one of two, the first located in Roswell, donated in January to the local Habitat office by Bank of America.

It’s the first “rehab” project in Forsyth County for the local chapter of Habitat. Typically, the Christian organization utilizes volunteers to build affordable homes from the ground up for families that otherwise might not be able to afford them.

The Spot Road property, which had been foreclosed on, had fallen into great disrepair before Habitat volunteers began the process of restoring it.

“This would have been the perfect before and after,” said Chuck Ingraham, construction manager on the project. “The house was green and that green wasn’t a different color, it was mold on the vinyl [siding] … and we had three-foot pine trees growing out of the gutters.”

Thanks to the work of Ingraham’s crew and many volunteers, the house now has been completely restored.

Traveler’s Insurance provided funding for the renovation project. Company representative Mike Stafford attended Thursday’s ceremony and presented Brooks with a red umbrella, the Traveler’s symbol.

Ingraham presented Brooks with the keys to her new home, and several members of Brooks’ church, First Baptist of Cumming, were in attendance to pray for her and her son as they begin life in their new home.

First Baptist Pastor Bob Jolly spoke briefly before presenting Brooks with a new Bible for her home, which she later placed in a spot of prominence on her new mantle.

“I’ve done this many years … and a lot of times you’re giving that Bible thinking, ‘I hope they open it and read it.’ But I know this is a family that loves God’s Word, so that’s refreshing for a pastor.”

Brooks said she was “so grateful, so blessed and so excited” during the dedication.

“I’ve struggled so much at feeling worthy to have this,” she said. “It reminds me that God is good and he just takes care of us.”

She joked that she was probably most excited to have her own bathroom after sharing just one with her son.

Jolly said Brooks and her son “have been a blessing.”

“In the world that we live with everybody claiming and grabbing their ‘rights,’ isn’t it refreshing to see someone with such a humble spirit,” he said.