At a dedication ceremony attended by mayors, councilmen, friends, family and neighbors who all packed into her new three-bedroom house on Striplin Drive, Jones was beside herself and struggling to come up with the right words to express her gratitude.
“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “I just don’t know what to say.”
Jones’ new home is the latest house built by Calhoun County’s Habitat for Humanity — and the first house the organization has built in Hobson City in close to seven years, according to its interim director, Ron Hindman.
“It’s been a long time since we put up a new home in this area,” Hindman said. “And it’s a beautiful home, and we’re excited so many people came to see it.”
Work began on Jones’ home in November, making it the final house the group built in 2012. Seven houses in total were built last year, a number Hindman said the group has been averaging the last few years.
But there was hardly anything average about the community support Saturday that came to greet Jones at her new residence. Besides Habitat for Humanity volunteers and board members, Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith and former Anniston Councilman Herbert Palmore were in attendance.
“People here are excited to see life and growth,” said Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory on the large crowd at the dedication ceremony. “This really brings people together to take pride in where they live. And it gives people hope that they can be homeowners too.”
Jones, a Gadsden native, through tears thanked her family and Habitat for Humanity in between prayers at the dedication, while recounting her journey to become a homeowner.
Calhoun County Habitat for Humanity board President Jake Mathews blessed the new home by giving Jones a Bible as well as a hammer that was used to put up the walls.
“It never gets routine,” Mathews said. “And if it does, you need to come to this dedication ceremony and see how special it is.”
Jones said after the party died down Saturday, she looked forward to getting settled in.
“It’s so emotional and it’s such a blessing,” Jones said. “God is good, that’s all I can say.”
Hindman said Calhoun County Habitat for Humanity’s next two projects will take place in Piedmont and Jacksonville; it’s currently in the application process of selecting a family to build a home for. Hindman said the group’s goal is to build six new homes in the county in 2013.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.