By Rebekah Martin
Associate Editor

Tonisha Carr and her three children will soon have an affordable and safe home on Auburn Street thanks to Auburn-Opelika Habitat for Humanity, corporate sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.
According to executive director Mark Grantham, Habitat works to provide people with opportunities for such housing. “Our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable housing for those within need in our community,” Grantham said. “I say opportunity because people have to qualify, there are people out there who don’t want to work, who want everything handed to them, and we’re not a giveaway program. Our folks work very hard to partner with those within the community and the sponsor organizations to help build their own homes, so we’re offering a hand up to qualified families in our community … an opportunity for everyone to have safe, affordable and decent housing.”
According to Grantham, families are selected based on need, their ability to partner with Habitat, their ability to volunteer and give back, as well as their ability to pay the no-interest mortgage. Carr has been involved in a number of houses built by the local Habitat for Humanity, and now is volunteering her time at her own.
Grantham said the typical Habitat home costs $75,000 and takes roughly 45 working days to complete. The current house is projected to be completed by the end of the year.
In an effort to raise funds, the WeHelp Coalition will sponsor the 22nd Annual Cookie Walk Dec. 2 at Grace United Methodist Church in Auburn. Participants will bake more than 30,000 cookies and Grantham said in years past, the event has raised more than $8,000 for Habitat for Humanity. For more information on the fundraiser, or be involved in the cookie contest, call Donna Roberts at 334-329-4879.