Two groups focus on one common goal

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By Susan Sharp

If it takes a village to raise a child then it takes a community to build a house.

For years Campbell County Habitat for Humanity has relied on area volunteers to assist in the construction of homes. With the undertaking of its twenty-fifth home, Habitat has added a new group of volunteers to the roster.

Clients of the Cornerstone program at Ridgeview have signed on to swing hammers, sweep floors and generally help a Habitat family build their home.

“I love it,” said Keith Kile, one of Habitat’s organizers, of the help the group is giving. “This help is much appreciated.”

For the Cornerstone group it is a new opportunity to connect with the community. The Cornerstone program is designed to help mentally ill adults advance their living skills while learning more about their illness. It also has a vocational component where the clients learn basic job skills.

Undertaking work at the Habitat house has taken that part of the program to a new level.

“They don’t know they can do it (a new skill) until they try,” said Susan Byrge one of the program’s counselors. And while those working at the site have learned what they can do, Kile has made an observation. “They are very good at what they are doing,” he said.

 With each nail hammered by the group the Warren family gets closer to a home of their own; but there is another meaning.

It gives the Cornerstone clients a sense of satisfaction, said Connie Spradlin, vocational coordinator.

“They have good useful skills,” Spradlin said of the clients who have made three trips to the Coolidge building site. She said assisting on the home also helps them to “build relationships with the community.”

For those making the Wednesday trip it is an excursion they look forward to. They are excited to see what has been done and what they can do.

Spradlin has been using her digital camera to present a slideshow of the clients’ work once they return to their Tennessee Avenue school. Being able to see themselves at work has been a real treat, she said.

Cornerstone participants will continue to work on the home until it is ready for Curtis and Sonya Warren and their three children.