Community giving back to Region 8 woman in need - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Community giving back to Region 8 woman in need

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Over the past decade, Habitat for Humanity in Paragould has built six homes.  They finished their last project in the fall of 2010 and are now preparing for their spring 2011 house.

Since the first of the year they've been going over qualified applications, and Friday announced the recipient.

Sunny Curtis is the founder of the Agape House in Greene County.  It is a rehabilitation house for women in Region 8 who are battling addiction.  Two days before Christmas Curtis was taking a nap with her grandson when her home caught fire. 

"I smelled something and I got up and I went upstairs.  Smoke was just rolling out of the crawl spaces of my attic," said Curtis.

Paragould Habitat for Humanity President Jason Gazaway said after the fire they started getting from people in the community pleading with them to choose Sunny for their next project.

"I really wanted to be chosen, but that made me feel bad when I saw the other families with little kids and stuff," said Curtis.

"We had a lot of good applicants, but as it turned out sunny was a great applicant," said Gazaway.

There are three qualifications they look at:  need, ability to pay, and sweat equity.  Families who are chosen have to be able to make a $500 down payment.  They also pay a little over $300 a month, interest free, to pay for the house.  The money collected is used to build another house for another family.

"I didn't want to lose my home but God has taken care of me through my family and friends and this community," said Curtis.

In this case, Gazaway said they were overwhelmed by the support coming from the community.

"We looked at how much she gives back and how wonderful it would be if we could partner with her.  That made a big part of our decision," said Gazaway.

"Blown away, but I'm excited.  It makes me feel loved," said Curtis.

Habitat for Humanity is going to use the same location of Sunny's former home for her new one.  Now when her new home is completed it will really feel like home.  Curtis is required to spend 200 hours over the three to six months that it will take to build her new home working on the project. 

"I think you appreciate what you work for," said Curtis.

The start date for the project is unknown.  They will have to demolish the existing home before they can move forward.  Habitat for Humanity in Paragould has the money to build one house this year, but Gazaway said they would love to build another home if possible.  Anyone that would like to donate money to help make that possible can send donations to:

Habitat for Humanity at Paragould
P.O. Box 222
Paragould, AR 72451

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