Habitat For Humanity Partners With St. Paul's Episcopal To Build Home

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
From left, Patricia McDaniel, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Adut, Kual, the Rev. Ann Weeks, deacon for Outreach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga's Executive Director David Butler.
From left, Patricia McDaniel, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Adut, Kual, the Rev. Ann Weeks, deacon for Outreach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga's Executive Director David Butler.

More than 30 members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church celebrated a new beginning for members, Kual and Adut Ayai, breaking ground on the site of their new Habitat for Humanity home.  The home is sponsored, in part, by contributors of the Help Build It-Southside Campaign along with longtime Habitat supporters, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the George R. Johnson Family Foundation. It’s the 249th home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area.

“St. Paul's Episcopal Church is truly blessed to have the Ayai family in our congregation and we consider it an honor to help them achieve home ownership,” said Rev. Ann Weeks, deacon for Outreach at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. “Kual Ayai says it best, "Owning a home is a testament of his standing as an American citizen. When you have a house you consider yourself to be a citizen, and not a foreigner.'"

Kual and Adut Ayai moved to the Scenic City from South Sudan in 2010. In a matter of three years, the Ayai’s established a foundation for their family by joining St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and enrolling in Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program. 

“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,” said Cheryl Marsh, Habitat’s director of Family Services. “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.”

In an effort to expedite the homeownership process, Mr. Ayai has denied himself rest to work two eight-hour shifts at his job at Pilgrim Pride and log 30 weekly volunteer hours at Habitat over the past two months. Mr. Ayai understands that he will see the fruits of his labor and will be able to rest well once the construction of his family’s home is completed in late May.

To learn about Habitat’s Homeownership Program, visit www.habitchatt.org or call 756-0507.


From left, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga's Director of Construction amd Land Development, Dennis Neal, with the Ayai family.
From left, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga's Director of Construction amd Land Development, Dennis Neal, with the Ayai family.

Trent Development Seeks PILOT For $17 Million Highway 58 Apartment Project

Trent Development is seeking a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) tax break for a planned apartment complex on Highway 58. The Flats at 58 is a project costing over $17 million across from Linda's Produce and just up from Central High School. Alex Trent said rents will range from $595 for two-bedroom and $835 for three-bedroom. There will be 120 units in the complex that ... (click for more)

Building On South Market Near 20th Street To Be Auctioned Feb. 24

A building on South Market Street near 20th Street will be auctioned on Feb. 24 at noon. Marc Gravitt of Gravitt Auction said the owner has retired, moved out of town and must sell the property. He said, "This is a highly visible piece of real estate on the south end of Market Street near the 20th Street intersection. The building, built in 1997, has approximately 1,152 ... (click for more)

Boyd Says He Is Not On Witch Hunt Against CVB, But Intends To Seek Full Audit Of Agency; Graham Backs Visitors Bureau 100%

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd has told Chattanooga Visitors Bureau President Bob Doak that he is "not on a witch hunt" against the CVB, but he said he intends to seek a full audit of the agency. He said he was inspired to "take an even closer look" at the Visitors Bureau after he said Mr. Doak "unleashing a fire storm of emails condemning my accusations." ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Who Was Seriously Injured Dies On Monday

A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured, and later died on Monday. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The five-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)