It’s been said that “it takes a village”. On Saturday morning, that village—community members, business leaders, and elected officials came together as North West Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity dedicated the first home at Veterans Place.
The first all-veteran neighborhood in the state is located at Military Way (just off Chicago Avenue) and sits on four acres that NWMAH purchased in 2016 from the Douglas County Housing Authority. According to NWMAH President David McGinnis, Douglasville is one of two affiliates that have embarked on a military-only neighborhood out of 1300 affiliates nationwide.
“Through the course of the last five years, we began rolling around of how we can make this work. It’s only through the concerted effort of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, the Department of Transportation, Douglasville City Council—all of the people working together in the dynamics of making a dream come true,” said McGinnis.
The first house in the neighborhood was dedicated to Lester Roberson, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Dubbed the “Mayor of Veterans Place”, Roberson was born in Saginaw, Michigan, where he graduated from Saginaw High School. He started college before deciding to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as a Warehousemen before being medically discharged.
“I really want to thank all the volunteers that helped,” said Roberson. “Everyday they dedicated their time to help and I met a lot of beautiful people.”
Volunteers worked for nine consecutive Saturdays alongside the homeowner. Sponsors include The Home Depot Foundation, Lockheed, Cato Fashions, St. John Vianney Catholic Church and St. Theresa Catholic Church, Hamilton State Bank, Stallings Insurance, First Presbyterian Church of Douglasville and the Douglasville/Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority.
The celebration was filled with many gifts, including a golden hammer presented by NWMAH House Leader Leslie Choo and a tumbling block quilt by the Ladies Auxiliary. Construction on the second house in the neighborhood is set to begin sometime after Labor Day, with plans for the dedication to take place on Veterans Day.
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Today, they operate in over 1400 communities across the U.S. and in 70 countries. They have helped build, renovate, and repair more than 600,000 homes worldwide. The NW Metro Atlanta affiliate of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1986. Since its founding, they have renovated or repaired 506 homes in their service area of Cobb, Douglas, and Paulding counties. For more information on the North West Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, you can visit their website, check out their Facebook page, or call (770)432-7954.