PARKERSBURG - A new home built by Wood County Habitat for Humanity volunteers in south Parkersburg was blessed for the Sims/Lent family on Sunday afternoon.
The home, at 4416 15th Ave., will be a much needed welcome for the family of four including Rebecca Sims, Amanda Lent, Dolan Bailey and Dugan Bailey.
Sims is the mother of Lent and grandmother of Dugan Bailey, while Dolan Bailey is Lent's boyfriend.
Carolyn Garrity, left, secretary of the board for Wood County Habitat for Humanity, gives Rebecca Sims, right, a Bible for the family’s new home. (Photo by Mandi Cardosi)
During Sunday' dedication ceremony, Lent said she was honored to have a place to call home.
"I can't even explain the feeling really," she said. "It's just unbelievable."
Wood County Habitat for Humanity executive director Alvin Phillips said construction for the home began in May.
"We had three others to finish," he said. "A lot has to come together to get a house going."
Resource development coordinator Lisa Collins said her job is to recognize people that fund the nonprofit organization. She said contributors included Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, The Bernard McDonough Foundation and the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund.
Cynthia Dreenan, executive director to the SSJCF, said there is a movement across the country called "Housing First."
"It's important to have shelter, a house, to be able to grow," she said. "The foundation for our lives is to have that shelter."
The walls and roof for the home were constructed in one day, on June 2.
"Results Radio (of Parkersburg) helped with the publicity," said Phillips. "It just takes the whole village to get this all done."
Phillips said Wincore gave windows and doors, Badger Lumber Company gave discounts on supplies, Modern Builders Supply contributed and Whirlpool gives every stove and refrigerator to every Habitat house in North America.
"There's a lot of prayer and folks coming together for this," he said.
Carolyn Garrity, secretary of the board for Wood County Habitat, gave the family a Bible for their new home.
"I know you've been waiting and waiting," Garrity said to Sims. "It's my great pleasure to present you with a Bible for your home and your family, and your (house) keys."
Sims was overcome with emotion and speechless at the kindness of the volunteers.
"I've never had this happen before," she said.
Phillips said an interesting fact about about Sunday's home was that it was one of 25 special homes given away around the state as part of the 25th anniversary of Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia.
"This is our 63rd home in Wood County and we've had 92 (homes) overseas during 20 years," he added.
Phillips said for every $100 given to the state, about $10 goes overseas for homes mostly designated for Asia where the tsunami hit in 2004.
Volunteers will waste no time. The next home, on Ridgeway Avenue in south Parkersburg, is scheduled to begin construction this week. Volunteers are still needed for the efforts which will take place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Phillips said.