Habitat board member David Cooper told those present at Sunday's information meeting that the decision to expand was something they felt was necessary in order to serve a larger range of people.
of Marion County assisted several families who were affected by the April 27, 2011, tornado in Franklin County and in Hackleburg," Cooper
"Because Franklin County didn't have a Habitat
affiliate at the time, we were allowed by Habitat International
to build two houses in Phil Campbell for families who met our criteria and who had a great need.
"Through those events and seeing that their were surrounding area who needed a Habitat
affiliate, we decided to expand our coverage area, and now we're trying to go out into these communities and educate the people on who we are, what we're about, and how they can be a big part of what we do."
said there were several myths that he
and others associated with Habitat try to dispel, especially when they come into a new area where people might not be as familiar with their organization or their services.
"One of the biggest myths is that we just give away houses, and that is not true," he
"We don't give anyone a house - they have to be able to pay for the house by paying back the mortgage and they have to partner with us to work on the house and fulfill other requirements."
Another myth Cooper
said they often hear is that Habitat houses will lower the property value in an area where they are placed.
"This is most definitely not true," Cooper
said their mission is to eliminate substandard housing in Northwest Alabama and to make simple, decent, affordable housing a matter of conscience for all.
But achieving this mission, he
said, is something that takes the work and support of each community.
"The purpose of today is to educate the community leaders, the businesses, the churches and other groups and individuals on how they can be an active part of Habitat
said volunteers are also needed for the Ramps and Rails program that helps install handicap accessible ramps and railings for people in need and for the A Brush with Kindness program that helps with minor repairs at homes of those in need.