Two families in north Forsyth were welcomed to their new homes by friends and an entire community.
Habitat for Humanity — North Central Georgia recently held a dedication ceremony for the Johnson and Mawi-Kawl families in front of the homes they helped build through the nonprofit on Hubert Martin Drive.
A total of four homes will be built on this street by Habitat.
Habitat is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that builds affordable homes for purchase by low-income families who demonstrate “the capacity for responsible homeownership.”
“This home is a blessing for me and my family,” said Sabrina Johnson, who will live in one of the homes with her three children, Brooklyn, 9, Ty, 5, and Lacey, 3.
The Forsyth County native has been a single mother for four years and works locally as a dental assistant.
“We are all so excited to have our own home,” she said.
Publix Super Market Charities, which sponsored the Johnsons’ home, surprised the family at the ceremony with a fully stocked pantry with food and household supplies.
“With the $80,000 grant that was awarded, the foundation will have donated nearly one-half million dollars in support of our ministry since 2008 — providing the primary funding for 11 new Habitat homes in our service area,” said Russ Hayes, CEO of Habitat North Central Georgia.
Habitat does not give away homes.
Partner families, who earn 30 to 60 percent of the Atlanta-area median income, purchase their homes at or near appraised value with 30-year no-interest financing provided by Habitat.
Each partner family also is required to attend educational classes and perform 200-300 hours of construction “sweat equity” on their homes.
Since beginning in 1995, Habitat North Central Georgia has compleed 287 homes serving an estimated 1,000 family members in Forsyth, Cherokee and Dawson counties and the north Fulton area.
The second home was built for Sanhup Mawi and his wife, Annie Kawl, who emigrated from Myanmar where they experienced great oppression.
After spending two years in Malaysia, they were granted passage to the United States in 2010.
The couple has three children: Morning, 12, Carolyn, 9, and Joseph, 2.
Mawi has worked at Tyson Foods in Cumming for the last four years.
The five-person family’s home was sponsored by several businesses and civic groups, including: ADP, DataScan, Church of the Good Shephers, Ciena Cares, Citrix, Fortune-Johnson General Contractors, Lowe’s, Solvay Specialty Polymers, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation and United Way of Forsyth County.
“My family thanks Habitat and all of the sponsors who helped build our home,” Mawi said. “We are so happy and thankful for everything God has provided us.”