Walker County is receiving help to rebuild its Habitat for Humanity program from neighbors in Catoosa County.

Habitat International, the parent agency of Habitat for Humanity affiliates, contacted Catoosa’s program to ask if it would be interested in adding Walker to its service area after the latter’s program lost its affiliation, said Penny Mahon, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Catoosa County.

“We get a lot of calls from people in Walker County needing help,” Mahon said.

She said she has hated to turn away calls when she sees a real need for the program there. No new Habitat houses have been built in Walker County in several years.

The Catoosa group began organizing a committee in late summer to add Walker to its service area and established a resource development committee as the first step.

Right now the organization’s most pressing need is volunteers to serve on committees and as board members, as well as corporate sponsors.

The addition of Walker County representation will better reflect a program that will serve both counties. Mahon said the program is also tossing around ideas for a new name but has not settled on one yet.

After the program adopts Walker as part of its service area, Habitat will be able to serve the area.

A golf tournament fundraiser is planned in the spring. If plans remain on track and the program has success as Catoosa has with golf tournaments and other fundraisers, it would like to build a new house in Walker in 2020, she said.

Once this foundation is laid and the necessary money raised, the organization will need construction volunteers.

“We inherited some land the Walker County Habitat had,” she said. “All we need to do is raise the money to build.”

Catoosa’s program has been active since 1991. Mahon said she believes the new people and new organizational structure will create a “fresh start” for the program’s operations in Walker County.

Habitat for Humanity’s website, www.habitat.org, describes it as a “nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home,” believing affordable housing is crucial for strong and stable communities.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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