Cheatham Habitat for Humanity, with sponsors United Structural Systems (U.S.S.) and Donnie & Jackie Kemp, held its 10th Annual Houses of Hope fundraiser on Tuesday, October 27. Unlike previous years, the organization planned a drive-in style event with 100 guests in attendance. The event raised $25,000 for affordable housing in Cheatham County, according to Jeff Bennett, director of divisions with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.
“Our humble roots began back in 2008 when Johnny Melton had the vision of bringing Habitat to Cheatham County,” said Bennett. According to Melton, Habitat for Humanity International had specific criteria that each county had to meet in order to have its own affiliate, such as having a population of 50,000 with its largest city having a population of 10,000. Cheatham County did not meet this criteria. Melton said he approached Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville (HFHGN) with the possibility of bringing on Cheatham County as a division under the umbrella of HFHGN, to which they agreed to do so. After the floods of 2010, Cheatham County built their very first home in Ashland City.
“To date, we have served nine households throughout Cheatham County and looking forward to building our 10th home in March 2021,” said Bennett.
Bennett said the Cheatham Habitat Community Board awarded Melton with the John E. Mayfield Hammer of Hope Award at its Houses of Hope event for being a staunch supporter of the Habitat ministry and serving as its first board chairman.
Bennett said guests at the event heard from Jessica Epley who partnered with Habitat in 2018 to build her home and Jack Jones from Tennessee Homebuyers who is one of the organization’s newest sponsors.
“My favorite part about our ministry is that we provide over 100 hours of classroom training for future homeowners, which helps them be successful when the purchase their home at closing,” said Bennett. As part of the program, Habitat homeowners commit to a total of 200 hours of sweat equity, which includes classroom training and working alongside volunteers and sponsors on their own build site.
Cheatham Habitat for Humanity seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat’s award-winning homes are recognized for their quality craftsmanship and energy efficiency, meaning homeowners pay on average $25,000 less for their electric bills over the life of the mortgage. To request an application or to receive more information about the Cheatham Habitat for Humanity, call 615-441-9967 or visit http://www.habitatnashville.org/Cheatham.