40 volunteers work on Habitat home in Columbus

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 25, 2014 

The near freezing temperature Saturday morning didn’t stop an army of volunteers as Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity finished roofing a home at 504 20th Ave.

“This is going to be like an anniversary present to me and my husband,” said future homeowner Patricia Brownlee who was at the site putting in her volunteer hours. “This is a blessing from God.”

Brinkley Pound, executive director of the Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity, said about 40 volunteers were on the site putting up shingles, installing windows and grading the landscape around the house. The home for the Brownlees may be ready by Mother’s Day.

The home is the 279th built in the Columbus area by Habitat and the organization that builds safe and affordable places for people to live is scheduled to build 10 more in the city.

Pound said the 1,100-square-foot home has three bedrooms, one and a half baths with an open floor plan. It will be energy efficient and the walls were build off site and hauled to the location.

Brownlee, 43, said this year is going to be a good one because she and her husband, Clinton Brownlee, were married on Valentine’s Day. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “This is my first house.”

The couple never thought they could own a home but decided to apply to Habitat. “I never thought we would get picked,” she said.

Pound said the couple will get the house for $72,000.

Marilyn Johnson, 61, doesn’t know where her home will be built but she is already volunteering to get her 400 volunteer hours completed.

“It feels good,” she said. “In the last two weeks, I think I have done really well with the hours. I’m working toward that goal. I feel like it’s a race.”

Johnson said she’s getting help from her daughter, Army Master Sgt. Marilyn Precious Johnson, who is on leave for 30 days before heading to Alaska. She has no construction experience but she does whatever that needs to be done.

Pound said volunteers on the site included students from Brookstone School in Columbus and soldiers from Fort Benning.

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