Updated: Feb 21
The third time was definitely the charm for Habitat for Humanity® of Rabun County's 2020 Partner Family. Allison and Daniel's persistence paid off when they recently learned they are Habitat Rabun's 2020 Home Recipients.
Allison, and her fiancé, Daniel, applied for the 2019 Habitat home, and Allison applied several years ago on her own. Both times, the Family Selection Committee chose another and counseled the couple on ways they could improve their application package.
"I kept a lookout for the application when it was available at Rabun County Bank," said Allison, "and I made it a mission to get a copy. Daniel and I sat at my mom's kitchen counter and filled it out completely." They were ecstatic when informed they would be the 2020 Recipients.
Allison has lived in Rabun County her entire life. "In 2007, I was diagnosed with a brain cyst, which put me in a scooter a few years later. I have not let this slow me down; I have just needed a little help along the way, which is why I applied for a home with Habitat," she said.
"I appreciate this opportunity that has been given to Daniel and me to partner with Habitat. This house means the world to us. Sure we have been together three and a half years, but the house will be the start of our lives together. We will be able to have the family we want. On a personal note, I am grateful to be able to say that I will have a home that works for me, no more frustrations, no more accidents from me trying to live in a not so wheelchair friendly environment," said Allison.
This will be the second handicapped accessible home that Habitat Rabun has built during its 36-year history. Marcus Booker, former Board Member, and past Construction Committee Chair has built 10 Habitat homes and is excited to be involved in his first ADA (American with Disabilities Act) home. "It's designed to enable Allison to be as independent as possible," he said.
Because this home is different from other Habitat Rabun homes, the Habitat Board sought out the help of local architect Georgia Ericson. "An accessible home requires more area throughout the home to be able to maneuver and turn a wheelchair. The challenge was to provide a fully accessible home while keeping within the Habitat for Humanity's need to keep the square footage down and the home cost-efficient," Ericson said.
Though Ericson isn't a Habitat board member, she was happy to volunteer her time and
talents. "I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to help. Meeting Allison, her fiancé Daniel and their family made me even more excited to have the chance to help someone make their dream a reality."
Habitat Board Member and Construction Committee Chair Ed Steil, who will oversee the entire project, said, "providing housing for responsible fellow citizens is a great motivator for me. I see it as a type of missionary work." Steil says the most significant need Habitat Rabun has is for volunteers to work on the building site.
"I perceive our greatest need to be enlisting additional workers to assist in building," said Steil. In the past, the volunteers have worked on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Steil would like to add in some Saturday workdays if there is community interest.
"The great need for Habitat would be the ability to build more than one house a year. There is such a great need in Rabun County for affordable housing," said Booker. To volunteer for a Habitat build, visit https://www.habitatrabun.com/volunteer-on-site.
Habitat Rabun will be hosting its annual fundraiser on July 20, 2020, at Julep Farms to raise funds for the 2020 home. Raise the Roof for Habitat, (formerly Hoedown) is Habitat's largest fundraiser for the year. You can learn more by signing up for our newsletter.