Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury Helps Put “Home” in Home for the Holidays” for Two Local Families


Thanks to sponsors, donors, volunteers and Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM), two local families now have a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home just in time for the holidays.

On Saturday, December 4, the nonprofit dedicated two new residences in Columbia, TN. The soon-to-be homeowners worked alongside volunteers over the last six months to build their homes. They also attended 10 weeks of budget coaching, homeownership classes, saved for closing costs, and will purchase their homes with a 30-year, affordable mortgage.

Franklin-native Kim Dixon has worked for Franklin Special School District as a bus driver since 1993. She loves dancing, fishing with her grandson, and spending time with her large extended family. Ms. Dixon is excited to become a homeowner and have a place for her family to come to visit.

“I thank the Lord that I will have a home,” Kim says with a big smile. “I want to stay active and healthy so I can live to enjoy my house and be a part of my wonderful neighborhood!”

Fittingly, students, some of whom Kim might have driven to school, built alongside her on her home during HFHWM’s 21st Annual Habitat High Build. Every year local schools set aside rivalries and band together to fundraise, advocate, and build a home with a local family. Students from Columbia State Community College and Brentwood, Centennial, Fairview, Franklin, and Ravenwood High Schools organized fundraisers to help sponsor the $70,000 needed for the “bricks and sticks” of the home. State Farm assisted the students’ efforts with a $10,000 donation.

Just a few miles away, volunteers worked alongside Searria Peoples to build her home during HFHWM’s 12th Annual Women Build. This build helps women feel more comfortable on a build site while helping families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable housing. HFHWM’s 2021 Women Build was sponsored by Gresham Smith, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lowe’s, Truist, Publix, Schneider Electric, Simmons Bank, The Westhaven Women Build Team, and many community volunteers and donors.

Searria has been a customer service senior representative at Evicore Health Care for the past three years. The proud mother to four children, Lavaeh (10), Leslie (10), King (4), & Kynnedi (2), is most looking forward to her new home’s yard.

“I want to start a veggie garden so I can change the way my children and I eat. I want us to put healthier food in our body and live a more active lifestyle,” she said. “I want to thank everyone who worked on my home and my sponsors,” she continued. “Your kind hearts and passion for what you do will always be remembered. Without you, owning a home would be a great challenge for my family.”

For many families like Searria’s, homeownership would not be possible without Habitat for Humanity and its supporters. Thousands of households in Williamson and Maury Counties qualify to purchase a home through Habitat’s program.

“In November of 2021, the area median cost of a home in Williamson County was a staggering $758,366,” says HFHWM COO Jennee Galland. “From teachers to firefighters to college graduates wishing to return home near their families, Habitat is often the only option for purchasing an affordable home here in our community. We welcome anyone wanting to purchase a home to visit our website, hfhwm.org, to learn more about our homeownership program. In addition to traditional single family construction, we also carry out critical repairs for homeowners in need.”

HFHWM President and CEO Becket Moore has led Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury for the last nine years. During his tenure, he has seen the area’s affordable housing need grow, as home prices continued to skyrocket.

“Our country is facing a nationwide housing crisis,” he explains. “Seventeen million U.S. households are paying half or more of their income on a place to live, forcing families to make hard choices between health care, reliable transportation, putting nutritious food on the table, or paying unreasonably high rents. We can change that here in our community.”

“The last few years have been difficult due to the pandemic, supply chain issues, and the need to scale back volunteer numbers, but as we look to the 2022, we have big plans to grow HFHWM’s work to serve more families,” he continues. “In three years, we are poised to double our home builds and critical repairs, but we can’t do it without the generous financial support of our local businesses, churches, and individuals. This holiday season please consider a donation at www.hfhwm.org. You are the key to opening new beginnings and bright futures for local families in need. It all begins with a safe, stable home.”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury’s homeownership program, volunteering, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.hfhwm.org.

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