Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TOP STORY >> Beebe family gets Habitat home

Leader staff writer

Habitat for Humanity of White County presented Krystal Smith of Beebe with the keys to a new home on Sunday in front of her family, church members and volunteers.

“Thank God. If it weren’t for him, this wouldn’t be possible. If there is a will there is a way. It’s been a long hard road. God is definitely good,” Smith said.

Mayor Mike Robertson called it “a wonderful gift of Christian love.”

He thanked the volunteers for helping the Smith family.

White County Judge Michael Lincoln said, “There is nothing more precious than being a homeowner.”

The blue-and-white house at 301 S. Cypress St. is 1,150 square feet. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is the first house the organization has built in Beebe.

Constructed on a donated lot with the work of volunteers, the house took eight months to build.

Smith, 32, is a single parent raising her daughters, Kyleigh, 5, and Kamauryi, 7. She works at the White County Medical Center South in Searcy as a dietitian assistant. Smith has rented an apartment for six years.

Beebe Middle School principal Brandy Dillin, Smith’s cousin, read an e-mail asking if someone needed a house.

Dillin said, “We didn’t waste any time.”

Rick Eichhorn, director of the Habitat for Humanity of White County, said it is important for Smith’s daughters to live in a home. It provides stability and a quiet place to study after school. Smith can relax and doesn’t have to worry about a big rent, Habitat officials said.

Smith’s house payments are $300 a month, including taxes and insurance. The house was built with energy efficiency and uses concrete siding instead of vinyl.

The electricity bill is estimated to be $80 a month. Smith had to put in 300 hours of “sweat” equity in to the house and also work at the Searcy Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Eichhorn said many volunteers and businesses helped with the project.

Jason Dajuan McNabb was referred to as Beebe’s No. 1 volunteer by Eichhorn.

McNabb said, “Working with Habitat was truly a blessing and fun. I’ve learned so much from volunteering. From framing to coping, I’ve learned it all.”

Smith’s cousin, Mike Williams, is an electrician who wired the house. K and R Plumbing and Absolute Roofing also helped.

Eichhorn thanked Beebe officials for answering building questions and working with him on building codes.

He said, “If it wasn’t for ReStore, we wouldn’t have the funds to build houses.”

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores are nonprofit home- improvement stores and donation centers selling new and gently-used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public. Proceeds are used by Habitat for Humanity for building houses.

The White County ReStore is at 210 W. Mulberry St. in Searcy.

Judge Lincoln asked for donations to support White County Habitat for Humanity.

For more information or to donate, visit www.habitatwhiteco.org or call (501) 268-5589.