By Gary Lloyd
Beryl Bass’ 3-year-old daughter Jalia shows so much joy, so much excitement, when her mother veers right off Sweeney Hollow Road and into the Winchester Hills neighborhood in Clay.
“Oh, we’re going to see our house!” she says.
On Thursday at noon, Bass will have the key to her new home on Winchester Hills Way, where daughters Jalia and Brianna, 10, will move in.
The Bass family and nine other families will receive their keys Thursday as part of the Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity Eighth Annual Home Builders Blitz. Ten homes have been built in one week, culminating with the key ceremony Thursday.
“I’m just amazed at seeing how many lives are being changed in one week,” said Bass, who is moving from Midfield. “It’s amazing.”
It will be the first time Bass, who has lived in Midfield her whole life except two years in Huffman, has owned a home.
“It’s life-changing. It’s full of excitement and joy,” Bass said. “Just to even see the looks on my kids’ faces when they come out here and look at the process of the home and know we’ll be moving in in a week. Just the entire process has been amazing. It’ll be awesome.”
Bass said she loves this side of town, and the local school systems was her main reason for choosing to live in Winchester Hills.
“It’s a beautiful community,” said Beth Bradner, vice president of marketing and development for Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity.
Bradner said each of the 10 homes is about 1,200 square feet and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Once the homes are complete today, the eight blitzes will have totaled 73 new homes, Bradner said.
Bradner said Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity has purchased 50 more lots in the Winchester Hills subdivision, and that next year’s home blitz will likely take place in the same neighborhood. The 2015 blitz could also take place there, Bradner said.
Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Charles Moore said families who qualify for the program must contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” and attend workshops on financing and budgeting. The families pay a mortgage, but with zero interest.
Moore has worked with Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity for 12 years, and he’s never had a day he didn’t want to go to work
“That’s a pretty good situation to be in,” he said.
Moore said Thursday’s key ceremony will include a lot of excitement, joy and tears. Bass knows it will.
“Oh my goodness, I can already see myself crying and boohooing because I’m so emotional,” she said. “Smiling and crying with tears flowing down my face, I can already see all of that.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.