Perseverance Leads To Homeownership

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Kual Ayai, a devoted husband, loving father of three daughters, provider, protector, and former elementary teacher in his home country of South Sudan, moved to Chattanooga in 2010 with a mission – find employment, provide a safe haven for his family, and to achieve the American Dream.
 
Habitat officials said, "You would never know from his constant warm smile that Kual functions off a small amount of sleep daily. He may be tired but he is extremely inspired to become a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga.
"
 
In an effort to establish a firm foundation for his family, Mr. Ayai and his wife enrolled in Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program in July 2013. Families who enroll in Habitat’s program are required to complete a minimum of 350 sweat equity hours before they can purchase a Habitat home. Traditionally, it takes up to 12 months for most working families to complete their hours. But in Mr. Ayai’s case, he secured more than 200 hours in two months and is well on his way to becoming a first-time homeowner.
 
After working two eight-hour shifts six days a week, Mr. Ayai has denied himself rest to volunteer 30 hours weekly at Habitat to expedite the homeownership process. His perseverance has led him on a fast track to successfully fulfill his dream of owning a home.
 
On Saturday, the fruits of his labor will pay off when he and his family along with members of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Second Presbyterian Church and Mizpah Congregation break ground of his new Southside home. Construction will begin following the groundbreaking and the home is expected to be completed by late May – weather pending.  

Georgia Northwestern Turning Home Construction Green

A year-long construction project designed to teach how to build homes in an earth-friendly way reached completion last Thursday on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Ga. Leaders from across the region, participating vendors, and college administration were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the new EarthCraft home built at the college.   ... (click for more)

Dream House Winner Creates Private Foundation To Fund Animal Rescue Work In Bradley County

When Jodie Westwood learned she had won Chattanooga’s St. Jude’s Dream Home earlier this year, she knew immediately that some of her winnings would fund work to improve conditions for dogs and cats in Bradley County. After all, Ms. Westwood had already been donating money and in-kind resources to shelters and rescues, volunteering, and turning her dining room into a makeshift ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 1 Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy with a 35-year-old woman dying and a man critically injured in North Chattanooga. At 10:13 a.m. on Wednesday, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser St. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having ... (click for more)

Appeal Dropped In $25 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Hennen's Restaurant By Lisa Barnes

An appeal has been dropped of a Circuit Court jury verdict that found Hennen's Restaurant not at fault in a $25 million lawsuit brought by Lisa Barnes. Circuit Court officials said the appeal was "voluntarily" dropped. It had been set to be reviewed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The verdict in the courtroom of Judge Neil Thomas in early February came at the end of ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)