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Jackson-area Habitat dedicates 600th house

Habitat McRae house_rgbHabitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area celebrates a major milestone on today with the dedication of its 600th house.  Known as the McRae Build, the 600th house is funded by the Selby and Richard McRae Family Foundation.

The HFHMCA Board of Directors and staff will honor McRae and the McRae Family at the dedication, scheduled today at noon. At 1004 Warren St. (west of Bailey Avenue and north of the Jackson Medical Mall).

Elected officials and community leaders also have been invited.

During the dedication, HFHMCA also will announce the early completion of Phase III of the Nehemiah Project. The goal of the project — which was announced at HFHMCA’s 25th anniversary in 2011 — was to serve 500 families in three years.

 Top: In progress the trusses going up on the 600th house. Above: Completed McRae home.

Top: In progress the trusses going up on the 600th house. Above: Completed McRae home.

Under the auspices of the Selby and Richard McRae Foundation, the McRae family has funded nine Habitat homes, including the 600th house. Additionally, in 2009 the foundation donated an office and warehouse facility to HFHMCA and made the initial gift toward its renovation. The renovated facility is now the HFHMCA office and warehouse at 615 Stonewall St.

More than 200 community volunteers built the 600th house, working primarily on Saturdays from late January through February. The volunteers included St. Andrew’s Episcopal School students, faculty, and alumni, employees of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, and Saks Inc. employees, some of whom are former McRae’s Department Store employees who worked for Richard McRae. Working alongside the volunteers to earn her “sweat equity” was the new homeowner, Shalonda Isaac. She and her two daughters will now have a stable place to live with an affordable no-interest mortgage of a HFHMCA home.

“Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope,” said Cindy Griffin, executive director of HFHMCA. “We are grateful to the McRae Family for their longstanding support of our mission. The McRaes have allowed us to broaden the fight against substandard housing, strengthening our community at its very foundation. Their commitment – symbolized through this 600th house – inspires us to open the doors to brighter futures for more families in need.”

Founded in 1986, HFHMCA is a nonprofit Christian housing organization that works in partnership with low-income families. Using volunteer labor and donated materials whenever possible, the organization builds basic, affordable houses that are then sold to families at cost with no profit or interest. A HFHMCA homeowner, with the help of family and friends, is required to invest “sweat equity” hours working on their and others’ homes.

— from staff and MBJ wire services

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