With Joselyn Hamner counting off, Habitat for Humanity volunteers lifted framing for an exterior wall Monday morning for the Nick’s Kids Foundation’s 18th national championship house in a residential area behind Maude Whatley Health Center. Hamner then used a tool to secure the framing to the foundation.
The shrieks of drills and the echoes of hammers are sounds of progress and opportunity for Hamner; this house, once complete, will be home to her and her two children, a 5-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter.
“It really is a blessing,” Hamner said. “Me and my kids will be able to be stable and have a house of our own.”
Hamner, who is a housekeeper at the University of Alabama, told The Tuscaloosa News that she has been living with her mother and that the living space is tight for the small family. She is looking forward to being a first-time homeowner and having separate rooms for her children in the new house.
“My son is excited. He’s so ready for his own room,” Hamner said, adding that he currently shares a room with his sister.
After the Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State, 52-24, for the college football title on Jan. 11, Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa announced on social media that the Hamner family would be the recipient of the 18th home funded by Nick’s Kids Foundation.
Nick’s Kids Foundation funded 13 Habitat for Humanity homes after an EF-4 tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa in 2011 — one home for each championship the football program had at that time. Since then, Nick and Terry Saban’s charity has funded another Habitat for Humanity home after each national championship win by UA.
“I’m just thankful for Habitat,” Hamner said. “I’ve met some very nice, genuine people working with them and helping with the sweat-equity and all that.”
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will be a smart house, in which the lights and thermostat will be able to be controlled via IPad. It is also the first home to be built in Habitat for Humanity’s partnership with Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy, referred to as “Operation Transformation,” according to Habitat of Humanity of Tuscaloosa’s executive director Ellen Potts. In this partnership, the construction of Habitat homes will be used to help train TCTA students who are in related trades.
Hamner said she applied to become a Habitat homeowner about a year or a year and a half ago and that she discussed her potential future home with her grandmother. Unfortunately, her grandmother died of COVID-19 before she learned she would be the homeowner of the next championship home, Hamner said.
“We talked a lot about me getting a house built and she wanted to help me decorate and things like that,” Hamner said, and that she believes her grandmother is looking down, “ready to see what the outcome (of the house) is going to be.”
As far as how she is going to decorate the house, she wants it “pink and girly colors,” Hamer said. Her son likes sports, so she wants to do his room in a sports theme, such as Alabama football.
The home is expected to be completed by August.
Emily Enfinger is a reporter for The Tuscaloosa News. Follow her on Twitter at @EmilyEnfinger.
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