Piedmont Habitat dedicates Farmville homes, project advances

Published 5:57 pm Sunday, December 31, 2023

Piedmont Habitat for Humanity is finished with the Farmville portion of its regional project. Earlier this month, the group held a dedication ceremony as the new homeowners celebrated moving into the buildings on Andrews Drive and Parkview Drive. 

In February 2022, the Piedmont Habitat for Humanity was awarded a grant in the amount of $946,149 through the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Affordable Workforce Housing Grant. This funding is to be used to build 11 new homes with four in Farmville, three in Nottoway County and five in Charlotte County through June 30, 2025. Originally, the deadline was for June 2024, but it got extended earlier this year. 

The program began with a welcome by Piedmont Executive Director Jayne Johnson, where she recognized many special guests, including local and state government officials. Also noted were the many efforts of the Piedmont Habitat Board of Directors and members of the Prince Edward County Committee. Russell Dove, Piedmont’s Community Outreach Director, continued with an opening prayer, giving thanks to God for making this work possible. 

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Following this, Mary Shepherd, Habitat’s Volunteer Coordinator, thanked the many volunteers that worked on these four builds, adding that the mission of Habitat would not be possible without so many faithful volunteers. 

For this project in Farmville, over 200 volunteers gave over 1,400 hours, partnering alongside each family in helping bring their dreams to life.

This included many dedicated individuals, along with churches, businesses, civic groups, and student groups, along with many organizations and athletic teams from Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College

Beginning of a new partnership 

One key component of this project involved the way homes were built. This time around, Piedmont Habitat used a different method of assembling a house, thanks to some help from Cardinal Homes. 

A typical build for a home from the ground up can take four to six months to complete. The Charlotte County based company is building modular homes for the nonprofit, prefabricated buildings that come in sections. Even though they come prebuilt, the quality is the same as a normal Habitat build.

The homes get built in their controlled environment before being delivered to the site for final setting on the foundation. From there, Habitat staff, volunteers, and sub-contractors took over all the finish work. This new construction technique allows for a tremendous increase in building capacity, with the ultimate goal of serving more families.

The guest speaker for this celebration was someone very familiar with the feeling of joy felt by so many that day. Vincent Ross moved into his Piedmont Habitat for Humanity home in Buckingham, alongside his grandmother, back in 2008. He has gone on to be a highly successful young man, following graduation from Liberty University. Vincent spoke from the heart and shared the impact his home made on him. He encouraged the new homeowners using Scripture from the Bible. He concluded by presenting housewarming gifts to each family, gifts made possible by the generosity of Vincent, along with his friends and coworkers. 

Finally, the stars of the show shared a few words, as new homeowners Inette, Diana, Amy, and Zachariah each spoke of their deep gratitude for all who joined in helping them achieve their goals of homeownership. Every Habitat partner family has a wonderful story and it was no different with these four. Each of them dedicated tireless hours of work in transforming these once wooded lots into four beautiful homes. All who have worked alongside them have not only been a blessing to them, but been blessed by them in the process. 

A word of blessing was then offered by Sam Rabon from Piedmont Habitat, with the prayer that each of them would experience the love, joy, peace, and hope of God in their new homes. 

So what’s next for Piedmont Habitat? 

Habitat is moving forward with the three homes in Nottoway County. Located in Crewe, construction is still taking place and is about 75% finished. To finish up the grant funding, the last five homes will start construction in Keysville in Charlotte County. Construction for these is expected to start in the spring and the homeowners in Charlotte are already working on the preliminary process.