Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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|Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:04 am Post subject: Coast Guard works for fellow Americans
|Coast Guard Helps Build Habitat Homes
February 7, 2005
Habitat for Humanity of Broward hit the volunteer jackpot on its latest project: Houses of Hope in the Liberia neighborhood of Hollywood.
Two hundred trained personnel, the cream of the crop of the 7th District of the U.S. Coast Guard, worked from Jan. 22 to Jan. 26 on four new houses being built along Simms and Atlanta streets.
When the houses are finished, a total of 25 Habitat homes built in the past decade will grace the working-class neighborhood north of Sheridan Street and just west of 22nd Avenue.
The Coasties worked next to other volunteers from the community. Habitat for Humanity supervisors on the job included director of construction Mary Lou Bowman Cubbin of Wilton Manors.
"We love working with the Coast Guard. They're awesome," Bowman Cubbin said. "They're good, strong workers who follow instructions exactly, and they arrive earlier than we ask them to every day."
What more can you ask for?
One of the volunteers, Chief Petty Officer Doug Witham of Hollywood, often performs ocean rescues in a helicopter, pulling people from the sea using a basket. His dual training in electrical work came in handy on the Houses of Hope.
"I came out today to give something back to South Florida," he said.
Habitat for Humanity does not give away homes. Homeowners pay a mortgage, although Habitat helps make it more affordable. Homeowners also are required to put in 400 hours of "sweat equity." Families buy their homes with a no-interest mortgage.
Nidia Bobillo of Dania Beach, a future Habitat homeowner, was working on her sweat equity as she worked on the roof of her home in Liberia.
Bobillo, a single mom with three boys ages 12, 9 and 7, used vacation time from work to put in four days of full-time labor on her house.
Bobillo has been helping build her house on Saturdays and attending home ownership classes since she was told just before Christmas that she had been selected to receive a Habitat home.
'Habitat called me at my office and said, `What do you want for Christmas?' I was so excited, I probably screamed out loud," Bobillo said.
Dorothy McIntyre, one of the original residents of Liberia, stood outside her house across Simms Street from the new Houses of Hope.
"I'm really looking forward to having new neighbors move in," McIntyre said. "I was born and raised here. It's good to see positive changes in the neighborhood."