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.”
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.”