13th Habitat house ready for family

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity, Inc., a United Way agency, is proud to announce the completion of its 13th house here in Natchez at 34 Claiborne St.

The house was completed in eight months with the help of more than 200 different volunteers who worked more than 3,000 hours. A dedication ceremony will be at the new home at 2 p.m. on Sunday, at which time the keys to the home will be given to the newest members of the Habitat family, Michelle Mayfield and her three children. All volunteers, financial donors and the general public are invited.

Each Habitat family is required to put in at least 250 hours of “sweat equity.” Ms. Mayfield and her daughter, Jerica, worked most of the hours themselves with some assistance from her friends and family.

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Habitat would like to extend a special thank you to certain individuals who worked more than 250 hours each: Luther Cain, Stanford “Buddy” Rayne, Eric Junkin and Duncan McFarlane. This was the first year that Habitat partnered with Youth Build, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor that puts high school dropouts to work in construction projects while helping them to earn a GED. More than 20 young men and women worked more than 900 hours from the day the foundation was dug until all the painting was complete.

We had tremendous support from the following organizations/groups: Women Build, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Theta Kappa at Co-Lin, Jefferson Street United Methodist Church youth group, St. Mary Basilica, First Presbyterian Church, Promise Hospital and Sigma Beta club at Natchez High School. We would like to thank the many professionals such as Lee Scott Construction Company (electrical), Jeff Holmes and sons (sheetrock finishers) and Tillage Construction Company (cabinets), who donated their services.

Habitat has now completed a total of six homes in Smith/Claiborne streets area. Come on out one day and see the changing face of this neighborhood. Claiborne runs to the west off the 1000 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Street.

If anyone is interested in applying for a Habitat home, wants to volunteer to help with construction, make a financial donation, or donate building materials or land, please contact me at 601-807-4956 or write to Habitat for Humanity at PO Box 100, Natchez, MS. 39121.

And finally, 2009 was a very sad year as we lost two of our volunteers.

Jimmy Dunn died shortly after putting on the roof of house No. 12. Mr. Dunn and his brother, Carl, nailed the shingles on the roofs of most of the Habitat homes.

This month, Habitat lost one of its co-founders and most loyal volunteers when Mr. Buddy Rayne died after a brief illness. Mr. Rayne was one of the organizers of Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity in late 1991; he served on the board for the next 18 years and is the only volunteer to work on all 13 Habitat homes.

He continued to work three days a week until he entered the hospital in October. He was 88 years old.

Duncan McFarlane is the secretary/treasurer of Habitat for Humanity.