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A house of her own

Nov. 13, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Gloria Greene has lived in Huntington her entire life, but she's never had a house of her own.

"I've been waiting for this a long time," she said with a smile, after ground was broken at the site of her new Habitat for Humanity home, which will be constructed at 1829 9th Ave. in Huntington.

Wind swirled and rain threatened as Habitat officials and community members gathered at the lot to celebrate the build, but it couldn't douse Greene's joy at seeing her dream within reach.

It's about the 82nd project for Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity and the 10th since 2008 in the Fairfield West community, which has been targeted for redevelopment, said Executive Director David Michael.

He said he is hoping to see attorneys from throughout the region volunteer to help with the project, as the theme for the project is "Raising the Bar," otherwise known as the "lawyer build." A Huntington firm and a Putnam County firm already have made contributions, he said.

This home also is special in that it's part of a statewide 25th anniversary celebration. Habitat for Humanity of West Virginia is celebrating 25 years -- and some 700 homes constructed -- by building 25 special homes, and Greene's is the 21st of that list, said Director Lora Pierce.

"It's been a milestone year and a way to honor and promote the work of Habitat," she said.

Habitat is a worldwide Christian ministry that provides homes at no-interest loans for qualifying applicants in financial need. It's described as a "hand up" and not a "hand out," because along with paying back the loan, recipients also provide sweat equity.

Greene, who has a son in town and a daughter who lives out of state, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and instead of physical labor, she has put in hours at Habitat's Huntington office.

She's been living in an apartment and can't wait to have her own place, mostly because, "I can do what I want to it. I don't have to answer to anybody," she said.

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