You’d be hard pressed to find a place in Roxboro with more smiles per capita than were on display Saturday afternoon at the dedication of the town’s newest Habitat for Humanity home.
The home, on Burch Avenue, will soon be the residence of Rondetta Morris. She was front and center for much of Saturday’s celebration. The home was built with the support of the Winstead family, which raised $60,000 toward the cost of the new construction.
Winstead family members were on hand Saturday to mark the completion of the project, which they dedicated to their parents. This is the second Habitat home in Roxboro that the Winstead family has built. The first was completed 25 years ago.
On Saturday, Winsted family member Bill Cooke, who was the driving force behind the family’s effort, said the project is significant to the Winstead family not only because they are helping make their hometown community stronger, but because it continues a tradition of community service fostered by their parents and grandparents.
And, Cooke says, the dedication of the home – Habitat’s third in the last two years in Person County – is another sign that the local Habitat program is getting stronger.
“I read a story recently about Habitat’s move from its old space to its new warehouse and there was a comment in that story from (Habitat board member) Brooks Lockhart. He said the changes taking place within the local Habitat agency were transformative. I think that speaks volumes for the work that Habitat is doing in this community and for the support the community has put into Habitat,” Cooke said.
Morris, like other Habitat for Humanity homeowners, has been part of the construction crew helping build the home. Part of the Habitat business model calls for homeowners to donate “sweat equity” or labor in building their home or in helping to build future homes.
On Saturday, Morris welcomed guests to tour the new home before and after the formal dedication ceremony. She thanked the Winstead family for their support of the project and she said the home was “a dream come true.” Morris said she hopes to move into the home in the next two weeks.
Ronnie Dunevant, one of the volunteers on the project said he was proud of what Habitat was able to accomplish.
“I’ve watched this lot turn from a yard that I used to mow into a home where a wonderful family will live,” Dunevant said. “I can’t imagine living in a home where I could say I helped put those walls up.”
Cynthia Wilson, who spearheaded the homeowner selection process for Habitat, heaped praise on Morris for her interest in the program.
“We had a lot of applicants for this home and many of them were very good applicants,” Wilson said. “But when Rondetta came in to see me, I could just tell that she was going to be the next homeowner for one of our houses. Something about her made me realize she would be a great homeowner.”
Morris’ brother James summed up the family’s feelings in the lines of a poem he wrote for the dedication and recited before the crowd.
“This house is a blessing and much more than a home. This house is proof of kindness which many believe is far gone.”