Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:12

Habitat for Humanity Continues Local Presence

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HFH Humanitarians Frank Pacifico, Jim Entwistle, Ozie Felder, Ellis Pittman and Ed Tender. HFH Humanitarians Frank Pacifico, Jim Entwistle, Ozie Felder, Ellis Pittman and Ed Tender. Photo courtesy of C.K. Craven.

RICHMOND COUNTY – Habitat for Humanity.  We’ve all heard of it, and most of us have even seen its homes being constructed. But how much do we really know about its history, mission, or whom it benefits?

Succinctly stated, HFH is a humanitarian organization whose mission is stated as “seeking to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.”  This mission is supported by the HFH objective of “ensuring that everyone has a decent place to live.”

But who are the people that actually bring the concept to fruition?  They could be your friends, neighbors, fellow church members, the guy checking your power meter, or most anyone else with a big heart and some degree of handyman skills.

“We always need volunteers with knowledge and expertise in any type of carpentry or other skills needed to build a house,” said local building contractor and HFH foreman Jim Entwistle.  “Our average group numbers about eight or nine, with four or five working at any given time.”

That doesn’t sound like very many guys, but they evidently work very efficiently. HFH has constructed more than 200 homes just in the Moore and Richmond County area alone.

Entwistle and his crew of Ozie Felder, Frank Pacifico, Ellis Pittman and Edward Tender were working diligently, moving quickly and precisely throughout a project home on Green Lake Road.  Each man was handling his assignment in a very professional and efficient manner with little, if any, communication required between these highly-skilled craftsmen. 

“We just do what has to be done to make it right,” says crew member Felder, himself a long time volunteer with HFH. 

Part of the “making it right” process entails beneficiaries of Habitat services to “pay it forward” and contribute their time and work towards construction projects. 

Pittman, himself soon to be a beneficiary of HFH homebuilding, notes that “we have to put in 300 hours of work to qualify for consideration, so I work with HFH whenever I can.” Ellis hopes to begin work on his own home in Hamlet within the next few months.

Officially founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International evolved directly from ideas that originated three years earlier on the Koinonia Community Farm near Americus, Ga., and indirectly from the principles that had precipitated the establishment of the farm itself in 1942. 

It was here that biblical scholar and farmer Clarence Jordan fostered the concept of a “partnership housing program” and it was this idea that the Fullers subsequently developed into what is now HFH, recruiting volunteers and building up the “Humanity Fund” to provide the financial basis for the ongoing projects.

With the public support of President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, Habitat flourished and has now expanded into more than 70 countries and approximately 1,400 communities across the United States.  Habitat has helped an estimated 9.8 million people obtain safe, decent and affordable shelter.

Visit their website at www.SandhillsHabitat.org, or call them at either 910-295-1934 for Moore County or 910-334-1162 in Richmond County.