Family moves into ‘Habitat for Humanity’ home

By Malik Hicks
Photos by Malik Hicks

Malik Hicks and his family moved into their Habitat for Humanity home on Dec. 18.

Hicks’s mother, Michelle McNamara, volunteered 800 “sweat equity” hours over the past three years in order to finalize their home ownership. Sweat equity is a form of payment that allows people to work to pay for their homes instead of a down payment.

McNamara is happy that she doesn’t have to give up her Saturdays anymore and that she finally owns a home.

“Since moving in the new house, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” McNamara said. “The kids have scholarships and for a single mom working part-time hours that means a lot.”

Malik's brother, Ralph.

Gary Peterson, the project manager on-site, described the Habitat for Humanity process. Before the volunteers arrive, Peterson and his team lay all the slabs for the new houses. Once the slabs are ready and the volunteers begin the building process, each house is scheduled to take approximately 16 weeks.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time the houses are built within the 16-week period, if not sooner,” Peterson said. “We try to start a new Habitat house every 30 days, and then begin another one before the previous one is finished.”

Volunteers work on a Habitat for Humanity home.</div/>
<p>For McNamara’s son Malik, his new house means a place to get away and spend time with his family.</p>
<p>“I am very appreciative of everything my mom and the Habitat for Humanities volunteers did for my family and for the opportunities I have for my future now,” he said.</p></div>
<p><em>In January 2010, the Flagler College Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) chapter launched Mission: Media, a program that lets St. Augustine’s Boys and Girls Club children control the news for a day.<br />
In Mission: Media, the children generate and develop story ideas in a “news budget” meeting that SPJ members lead before heading out into the field. Each SPJ member guides a few children through the city and helps them find and interview sources. After the children finish reporting, they return to the Flagler College Gargoyle office to write and publish their work here.</em></p>
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