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81st Habitat home dedication takes place in West Huntington

Apr. 21, 2013 @ 10:59 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Under towering maple trees on a corner lot just a block away from Old Central City, Judy Jackson's family has found a home.

On Sunday afternoon, Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity dedicated its 81st home at 1259 Jefferson Ave., Huntington.

Surrounded by her children, Jackson said it was hard to find enough words to thank the volunteers who built her new home.

"I really couldn't prepare for what I wanted to say to you guys," Jackson said, tearing up and surrounded by the pastors with the Downtown Churches of Huntington, which partnered to build the home. "I am speechless, but I want to thank everyone for the hard work, and I thank God for my new home."

This was the third home built by the Downtown Churches, which includes Central Christian Church, Fifth Avenue Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Johnson Memorial United Methodist and Trinity Episcopal.

Nikki Hagerman, who coordinates college volunteers for Habitat, thanked students from Boston College, John Hopkins University and Marshall University's Campus Ministry for helping with the project.

She also read a letter from Sen. Joe Manchin III to the crowd of several dozen folks that included Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

One of a dozen speakers at the event, First Presbyterian associate pastor Skip Seibel said the project gave the downtown churches a chance to gather to share the gospel in more than words.

He called the home "God's love made real."

Habitat construction supervisor Ken Jordan, hanging out under the shade tree with many of the regular volunteers such as Marty Edelen, said Habitat has several more homes currently under construction including one at 2533 9th Ave., Huntington, that's a Vo-Tech build; a house at 1829 9th Ave., that is a lawyer build; as well as another home at Riverlick Avenue on Baker's Road, just off of East Pea Ridge Road in Huntington. That home is part of the organization's first subdivision.

Patrick Lucas, president of the Huntington chapter of Habitat, said it was fitting that the Jackson home was dedicated in the shadow of Earth Day (which is Monday, April 22), since the home is built to EnergyStar efficiency standards.

In addition, it will be one of four Habitat homes that will be outfitted with solar panels.

"Not all of our affiliates can say they are building to that standard," Lucas said. "Habitat is not only helping families get in a home but helping after the fact. They will be paying lower utility bills than anywhere else they've lived before."

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