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Habitat, family ready to get to work on new home
jimmy and family
Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County executive director Jimmy Rutland talks about the latest house build project for the Alvarados. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

It may be a few months before the Effngham Habitat of Humanity is ready for its next family to move into a home – but both the family and the organization are anxious to open the door.

The Habitat broke ground Sunday afternoon on a Talmadge Drive property that will be home to the Alvarado family, parents John and Lauren, 8-year-old Hayden and 9-month-old Liam.

Just getting to the groundbreaking has been a long wait for Habitat.

“We’ve been waiting two years to get this off the ground,” said executive director Jimmy Rutland.

Chase Bank donated the land as part of its community revitalization efforts two years ago. There was a home on it, a double-wide trailer. But the trailer was in such poor condition, Rutland said, that when Habitat brought a real estate agent out there, the agent refused to enter the mobile home.

“We tore it down,” Rutland said.

To put up a stick-built home, Habitat also had to have the property rezoned. It also had to meet Rincon’s minimum standards for single home construction. The new home will be 1,400 square feet, which is bigger than what Habitat usually builds.

Habitat’s board chose the Alvarados a few weeks ago for Habitat’s first project of the year.

“We’re already looking for our next partner family,” said board president Nicky Cotton.

“It’s an exciting time,” said county Commissioner Jamie Deloach, a former Habitat board member. “It’s great to see Habitat has momentum, building another home.”

Rutland said interested families can come by the ReStore on Highway 21 to see if they qualify for Habitat’s program.

“As long as we can open doors in our community and give people willing to work toward their future a helping hand, that’s the purpose of Habitat,” Cotton said.

Building the home, which will be done through Habitat’s corps of volunteers, should take about three or four months, Rutland estimated.

“I’d like to be in it by June,” Rutland said.

The Alvarados too can’t wait.

“I want the house done now,” John Alvarado said. “I’m ready. If it were up to me, I’d start laying the foundation now. I want to get it done.”