Habitat for Humanity update

Published 3:28 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019


“Most of what we have done in Charlotte County to date has been home repairs that are more closely associated with our A Brush with Kindness program, but it looks like we may have new projects slated for the near future.” Sam Rabon shared during a recent sit-down with The Charlotte Gazette. Rabon works as the Community Outreach Director for the Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity. The Farmville Area office now serves as a hub for satellite groups in Prince Edward, Buckingham, Cumberland and Charlotte counties. Rabon serves as liaison between the outlying county’s groups, clients and the Farmville Area office. He also works with various vendors and contractors for affordable materials.

Phil Jackson, the point of contact for Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte County as well as the County’s group organizer was not available for interview.

“A Brush with Kindness is a program that provides repair, as well as other services, on homes for members of the community who would likely not be able to get them done on their own.”

According to Rabon, A Brush With Kindness has performed four of these repairs so far this year.

“We did the first one and then right after that three more came in one right after another,” Rabon said.

Rabon further explained. The first step in this type of outreach is to go to the applicant’s home and do an assessment to determine exactly what the person’s needs or family’s needs are. Most of the time the repairs are confined to exterior items such as handrails and steps or ramps; issues that would improve the homes safety. However, we have also repaired fascia board and gutters, painted, performed minor interior repairs and even cleaned up the yards of our [partnered] clients.

“This isn’t a free service,” Rabon went on to clarify that in many respects A Brush with Kindness follows the Habitat for Humanity model.

A Brush with Kindness’ objective is to enter into a partnership with homeowners to complete the repairs. The homeowners would be expected to help with the project in any way possible, just as if they were on a Habitat whole home build. We call it sweat equity. It helps the client in that they don’t feel like they are getting something for nothing. They are actively working toward an important goal in their lives and that is satisfying.

“Granted, there are times that a homeowner cannot do the physical work for one reason or another. In those cases we would ask that they be responsible for fixing lunch for the volunteers, or serving drinks, whatever they can do. The most important thing is to contribute the best you can. The cost of the materials used for the repair is subsidized to better fit the income of the service recipients. The cost is then divided into monthly, no interest payments that the homeowner can afford.

Right now we have 2 applications. One is for a whole house build in the Drakes Branch area of Charlotte County. The other project is a complete home renovation/refurbish in Keysville.

We are hoping to break ground for the first home in Drakes Branch in the fall.

Rabon also said that the Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity as well as the satellite groups in surrounding counties all appreciate new volunteers.

Individuals interested in providing time as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity should contact the Farmville Area office at (434) 394- 3001.