By Evelyn Witterholt.
Verna Smith from Tuscaloosa, Alabama has always wanted a house of her own, but faced many housing difficulties in the past. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity and their partnership with GAF, Verna’s dream is now coming true.
GAF is a leading roofing manufacturer in North America as well as a partner of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa since 2015. The two teamed up in October to build Verna’s house in five days, otherwise known as a blitz build. The house they built for Verna is their first fully sponsored house in Tuscaloosa.
The manufacturer gave Habitat for Humanity $100,000 for the project as well as 75 employees to get the job done. They are also helping the organization purchase 40 lots for more sponsored houses to be built.
The CEO of GAF, Jim Schnepper, helped out directly on the jobsite. "Here locally, we have donated 100,000 square feet (of roofing material) from our Tuscaloosa plant,” he told Tuscaloosa News. "It's great to be able to give back to the communities where we have operations and facilities,"
Katrina Baker, GAF’s plant manager, said she and other employees are proud to work on a project like this. “I really identify with that grandmother trying to raise her granddaughter and be a positive influence for her life. To be a part of giving them a stable home is phenomenal,” she told WVUA 23.
Verna plans on living in the house with her granddaughter. She told Tuscaloosa News, “It's truly a blessing. I'm truly grateful. The number one reason I am grateful is because it gives me the opportunity to be a homeowner. I don't have to worry about moving as often as I'm currently moving. I don't have to worry about my children or grandchildren down the line, they will always have a place to call home."
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Evelyn works as a writer for RoofersCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofing, she’s either at the gym lifting weights or curled up on the couch watching a movie.
Photo credit: Tuscaloosa News