Habitat for Humanity breaks ground

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pastor Stanley Ricks of House of Prayer Holiness Church, Inc., from left, and Nita Holt, president of Southampton/Franklin Habitat for Humanity’s Board of Directors, help Katherine Reid (right) and her children, Shaquille and Kierra, break ground on their new home. -- Nicholas Langhorne | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Katherine Reid has long dreamed of becoming a homeowner.

That dream is now becoming a reality thanks to Southampton/Franklin Habitat for Humanity. The organization held a groundbreaking ceremony for Reid’s new home at South High and Birch streets Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve always wanted my own, and I’ve prayed the prayer plenty of times and waited patiently, and God came through,” Reid said.

She said she was “blown away” when she got the call from Habitat officials saying her family had been chosen as a Habitat “partner family.”

“I was so stunned,” Reid said.

Her three-bedroom, two-bath home will be the first built by Southampton/Franklin Habitat for Humanity since 2007 and the eighth overall, said Nita Holt, president of the organization’s 15-member Board of Directors.

“We’re very, very pleased,” Holt said, adding it wouldn’t be possible without the strong community support for the Habitat ReStore in downtown Franklin, which accepts donated home fixtures, appliances, furniture and building materials for resale. Donations are tax-deductible.

“This place gave us the money to build that house,” Holt said.

When choosing partner families, Habitat officials look at applicants’ employment and credit history, just as a bank would, Holt said.

“They have to be able to pay a mortgage just like you’re getting a mortgage from the bank,” she said.

The partner family makes payments to Habitat, which is the mortgage holder. Habitat homes are lower cost because of donations and the loans are interest free.

Reid, a Franklin native and mother of four, was chosen from nine applicants. She has worked at Southampton Memorial Hospital for 18 years and is a certified nurse’s aide.

“I’m ready to go back to school and go a little further,” she said. “Stay in the nursing profession, but move up a little bit.”

Reid said she was under consideration by Habitat officials once before, but another family was chosen.

“Somebody else needed it far worse,” she said. “I was happy to get the interview then. I made it that far, but I said another time is coming, and it’s here.”

Depending upon the weather, Reid and her two youngest children, Kierra, 20, and Shaquille, 8, could move into their new home next spring.

Reid’s oldest daughter, Shatanilya, 22, has her own apartment and Tamiya, 21, is preparing to move into an apartment.