ERWIN — Two Dawn of Hope residents recently moved into a new home in Unicoi County thanks to the Dawn of Hope’s Houses for Hope program.
Shirley Hall and Mickie Jo Kirkpatrick moved into their home on Gold Course Road in Unicoi on Sept. 30. Officials with the Dawn of Hope and Eastern Eight Inc., gathered at the home Thursday afternoon for a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony.
Funding for the project came from a grant provided by the Tennessee Housing Development Authority and through the Dawn of Hope Foundation. The grant was administered by Eastern Eight.
Dawn of Hope Public Relations Specialist Lisa Stelick said the goal of the House for Hope program is to eliminate the difficulty associated with locating affordable, handicapped-accessible homes.
Dawn of Hope Executive Director Lee Chase said the building of homes in the Unicoi County area represents the second phase of the Houses for Hope program, with the first phase being in 2006 in Carter County when ground was broken on new homes there. The grant was awarded for the second phase due to a low number of handicapped-accessible homes in Unicoi County.
Five other homes will be constructed in Unicoi County through the Houses for Hope program, and Brittany Wilson Shortt, director of development and public relations for the Dawn of Hope, said hopes are that construction of these homes will be complete by summer.
Shortt said Hall and Kirkpatrick’s new home features wide doorways, wheelchair ramps in the front and back and a walk-in shower.
“It has a bigger, open floor plan,” Shortt said. “It just works better for their lifestyles.”
Because the Dawn of Hope owns the property, Hall and Kirkpatrick will pay rent to the Dawn of Hope for the home. That money will be used to help fund Houses for Hope and other Dawn of Hope programs, Stelick said.
“So, basically, it all stays in the same place,” she said.