Volunteers attempt to end poverty housing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers attempt to end poverty housing

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Bicyclists from around the country are taking a break from a 2,500 mile journey to do some volunteer work in south Georgia.

The goal of their trek is to raise $250,000 for the Fuller Center for Housing. Monday, they helped build a house in Americus. Volunteers began their trip last month in Niagra Falls, New York. They'll wrap it up in a little more than a week in New Orleans.

Monday, they worked on an energy efficient duplex for a couple of south Georgians with disabilities. Nail by nail, volunteers help build a duplex for Thaddeous Harris and Chuck Davis. 

Harris broke his back eight years ago in a car accident. Davis was born with Cerebral Palsy and started using a wheelchair six years ago. Both say it will be much easier getting around a home built just for their needs including a handicap accessible bathroom and shower.

"It's a blessing that someone would spend their time doing something for me," said Harris.

"They're very low income so we needed to build a house where they could afford utilities," said Fuller Center for Housing Board Chairman, Kirk Lyman-Barner.

The home is energy efficient. To cut down on the water bill they installed water barrels to harvest rainwater. The in-line water heater only works when it's being used. Energy Star appliances, green windows, and structural insulated panels should also cut down on the utility bill.

They installed insulated panels around the walls and roof of the home. They're basically two pieces of wood with styrofoam in between but they're supposed to help control the temperature inside.

 Builders and volunteers used recycled material from construction sites to make fish scales. 

"Instead of putting that waste into a landfill, we're going to use it as a decorative," Lyman-Barner added.

As volunteers wrap up for the day, Davis and Harris hope to move in by September 1st. The new homeowners will have a $65,000, 30 year loan. That's about a $180 mortgage payment each month.

The Fuller Center for Housing is a non-profit organization. If you would like to donate to it's cause, call the Fuller Center at 229-925-2900.

The Bike adventure will end August 5th in New Orleans where volunteers will dedicate a home to a woman who lost her home in Hurricane Katrina

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