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Flurry of activity behind the scenes of Roane Habitat

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When most people think of Habitat for Humanity, they visualize people working on a house — framing, driving nails and lifting walls into position.

“While that is certainly an important part of what we do, there is a lot of work behind the scenes for Habitat to complete its mission to build houses for those in need,” said Todd Fisher, president of Roane County Habitat for Humanity.

Roane County Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry “that believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live,” Fisher said.

Houses in Roane County are built using volunteer labor and donations. Partner families purchase the houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans.

Future homeowners work side by side with the volunteers and must complete 500 hours of sweat equity and training on subjects such as finances, budgeting and house maintenance.

“When we open the application process, families in need of decent shelter submit an application,” Fisher said.

“Our family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program, and their ability to repay the loan.”

He added, “We follow a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who can purchase Habitat houses.”

Roane County Habitat for Humanity’s board of directors volunteer their talents and time to help manage the Habitat affiliate.

“From family selection, training, support, mortgage and financial management, fundraising and construction, we need individuals that are willing to give back to the community,” Fisher said.

“In return, they receive the knowledge that they have made a difference in people’s lives by providing a home to those that may never have a chance to own a home without Habitat.”

Anyone wanting to help in the mission as a donor, volunteer or board member may contact either Fisher or Vice President Jim Smith through the affiliate’s website at www.roanehabitat.org, or call 376-5770.