Habitat gears up for new program

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kindness can be shown in many situations and under a variety of circumstances. The Escambia County Habitat for Humanity will be on the giving and receiving end of acts of kindness in the coming weeks.

ECHFH Director Alecia Glaize said the “Brush with Kindness” program of the group will kick into full swing next month in East Brewton.

“We are almost ready to roll with this new program,” Glaize said. “We have been distributing and accepting applications and we plan to start by working on a few houses in East Brewton.”

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Work on the homes will see some assistance in the form of a dozen college students from Indiana University, Glaize said.

“We will have a dozen students from Indiana University in Pennsylvania coming to work with us March 6-11,” Glaize said. “The homes on Snowden Street will be the first ones to see work, but we hope to be doing projects all over the county soon.”

Glaize said the projects are plentiful across the county under the scope of the “Brush with Kindness” program, which focuses on repairs, maintenance and other improvements to existing homes.

“We aren’t abandoning our original mission of building or renovating houses in partnership with people in need,” Glaize said. “This program will allow us to make a much bigger dent in improving the housing conditions of poor people in our county.”

Glaize said applicants for the “Brush with Kindness” program will be required to follow similar guidelines in place for full home construction.

“Applicants for the program must be low-income homeowners in Escambia County, Ala.,” Glaize said. “They must be financially and/or physically unable to do home repairs themselves.”

Glaize said other limitations for the program include:

• Projects must be limited to exterior work only, such as painting, landscaping, porches, wheel-chair ramps, etc.

• Applicants must pay a $10 application fee and pay some portion of materials and supplies

• Projects should be short-term and able to be completed in a few days.

• Applications are reviewed by a committee of volunteers.

Glaize said there are many ways area residents can help with the HFH’s projects including “Brush with Kindness.”

“We need help distributing applications to potential applicants,” Glaize said. “We also need volunteer site leaders who have knowledge and skills in painting, carpentry, landscaping and other areas. They need to enjoy working with unskilled volunteers.”

In addition to regular volunteers with HFH, Glaize said other groups are invited to volunteer to lend a helping hand on upcoming projects.

“We will soon begin scheduling volunteer groups for projects,” Glaize said. “We invite churches, civic groups, anyone who wants to help to volunteer. In addition to the college group, we are excited that local groups are contacting us to sign up for projects. Some of the groups who have volunteered include Youth Leadership Brewton, First United Methodist Church of Brewton and Robinsonville Baptist Church.”

Glaize said funding is always part of the list of needs for any work project of HFH.

“Of course, we need money,” Glaize said. “Tax-deductible donations can be made to Escambia County Habitat for Humanity. Donations can be designated specifically for ‘A Brush With Kindness’ if desired.”

Glaize said familiar faces will continue to be a big part of the new project of HFH.

“Terrence Breckenridge is serving as the volunteer coordinator for this program,” Glaize said.

For more information about the program or to request an application, contact Glaize at the Brewton office of ECHFH at 867-0095 or by email at alecia@escambiahfh.org