Constructing a New Habitat For Seven Families

By: Jason Tighe
By: Jason Tighe

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Building seven houses in seven days is a pretty ambitious goal for Knoxville's Habitat for Humanity.

Volunteer TV News Photojournalist Jason Tighe looked in on the project to discover just how quickly Habitat is changing lives

On Saturday morning, Joanna White waited patiently with a trestle in her hand and a smile on her face.

"I feel like I'm dreaming a little bit," She said, "it's something I've been looking forward to for a long time."

That something is the dream of home ownership, and in less than a week, she will finally realize it.

White is just one of 600 volunteers, helping to build a new community in October Woods, a housing subdivision located in East Knoxville. What separates her from most of the workers is that after several months of classes on financial literacy, she and some of her classmates will be able to call this developing plot of land their home.

"We all working for the same thing, to pay for our home," She said. "To have a good neighborhood and somewhere where we can raise our children."

It is an unbreakable bond, one that will be shared well into the futures as this group of classmates will become a community of neighbors.

"We were all in the same classes with each other," said LaKaeese Davis. "We will all be just one big family here in this cul-de-sac."

Davis embarrassed her time working on the Habitat project.

"I'm building on my home, this will be my first time ever building on my own first ever home, " She said as the racket of construction rang out from behind her.

When these seven homes are finished, seven days from when nothing stood this plot of land, the total number of Habitat homes created in Knoxville will number 315. A number that doesn't seem to faze the volunteers whose brow-beaten sweat is literally raising roofs.

"One of the more satisfying things in life that we can do is to help other folks," said Jim Piercey who volunteers with the Habitat.

Volunteers like Jim Piercey will work on the houses every day this week from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm. When the homes are completed on Saturday a dedication will take place for the families. For now though, each impact of the hammer adds up and the community's foundation comes a step closer toward being settled for the future.

Until then, wooden boards are raised and volunteer muscle works to turns empty spaces into something special, a Habitat for Humanity.

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