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.

Carl Henderson Named To Chattanooga Housing Authority Board Of Commissioners

Longtime civic leader and CPA Carl Henderson was named to the Chattanooga Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners by Mayor Andy Berke. Mr. Henderson replaces the unexpired term of outgoing board member Jim Steffes, who is also a CPA. He will serve until 2020. Serving as past managing partner for HHM CPAs, Carl Henderson has vast experience in multiple services and industries. ... (click for more)

Former Mayor Kinsey Staying On The Southside Despite $1.1 Million Sale Of Condo Home

Former Mayor Jon Kinsey said he and his wife, Candy, will be staying on the Southside despite the $1.1 million sale of their spacious residence on Williams Street. The Kinseys were among the early Southside purchasers when that section was just starting to become trendy. They acquired a former industrial building and erected a condo-style home with 3,790 square feet of space. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police To Add 14 Officers After Violent Weekend; New System To Allow Local Testing Of Shell Casings

In the wake of a weekend in which five people were shot with two dying, the Chattanooga Police Department is adding 14 more officers, Mayor Andy Berke and Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday. The department is also utilizing a new system that will allow local testing of shell casings and avoid a long wait time after sending them off to Nashville. Chief Fletcher also said there ... (click for more)

Cleveland Mother And Father Indicted After 2-Month Old Tests Positive For Meth; Has Multiple Injuries

The father and mother of a two-month-old in Cleveland have been indicted for child abuse after the baby tested positive for meth and had multiple injuries. Cleveland Police said on Jan. 4 the Department of Children Services and the Cleveland Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit began a joint investigation on an aggravated child neglect/abuse case.  DCS and ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March - And Response (2)

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Washington’s Favorite

By the time darkness fell over Washington, D.C., on Sunday, it had clearly been a monumental weekend. On Friday Donald Trump had ben inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States. On Saturday a fierce crowd of a half-million women who each are entitled to have the identical rights as men in the same United States, marched on The Mall. And then, the Washington Post printed ... (click for more)