Andalusia Habitat home will be Taylors 1st, last real house

Published 12:04 am Friday, February 1, 2013



I t will be the first and last home for Tammy Taylor and her two children.

The family, who currently resides in Lockhart, is the fourth recipient of a home constructed by the Covington County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Located at the corner of College and Oak streets in Andalusia, the three-bedroom, one-and-half bath, handicapped-accessible home will be a much different picture than the family’s 1910 wood-frame home. That house is so small, only one of two children can live there, Taylor said.

Taylor said the move will put her closer to work at the Andalusia Head Start, where she’s been a teacher since 2005. She began working with the agency in 1999 as a teacher in Florala.

“To be chosen for a Habitat house, well, it’s just awesome,” she said Thursday. In one week, the building blitz will begin at the site, putting the family one step closer to their new home. She said she applied for a new home nearly two years ago.

“A friend encouraged me to apply because she’d been to my house and saw how much repair it needed,” Taylor said as she described the four room home that was so small, only her son, Daniel, now 21, could live there. Her daughter, Betty Jean, lived with her sister in Florala, she said.

“I applied because my thinking was I wanted to provide better for my children than what we were in,” she said. “When (the family selection committee) called and asked me to come in, I thought they were going to tell me I didn’t qualify. When she told me, I won’t lie, I cried.

“I can’t tell you what it means to know you’ll soon be able to get house warm; that there’s enough room; that the plumbing works well – all those things that pile up as a single parent in an old 1910 house that you really can’t stay on top of,” she said. “In our house now, you can’t run the microwave, the heater and the coffee pot at the same time.”

Since being notified of the award, the excitement over the impending move has done nothing but build. As part of the award process, Habitat families are required to work, or put in “sweat equity,” at their new home. To do that, the Taylor family and friends did all the upkeep of Habitat properties.

Taylor said once the construction is finished, her sister, who is wheelchair-bound, will make her first visit in seven years.

“Beyond excited, I tell you,” she said. “This is going be my first real home and my last home. This is something I would never be able to get without Habitat. It’s bringing my family back together.”

This will be the second Habitat build in Andalusia. Homes were also constructed in Opp and Florala.

Work will begin at 8 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. both days and continue the following weekend on Feb. 15 and 16, and as usual, volunteers are needed to make the blitz a success.

Those wishing to volunteer should call Kylan Lewis at 334-343-2299 to sign up; however, a registration tent will be set up at the site for volunteers, as well. Those 19 or younger must have a parent sign a consent form, while those under 16 will not be allowed to work in the construction process; however, there will be other volunteer opportunities there for youth.

Monetary donations are always welcome, he said, and can be mailed to the local HFH chapter at: Covington County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1034 Andalusia, AL 36420.