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Churches, Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity Join for Local Effort

Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are working together to rehabilitate a home for a Snellville family.

Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity together with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are working to complete work a Snellville home that will soon welcome a new family.

The home was a foreclosed property, and now volunteers from nine local Lutheran churches are working to bring the home back to life. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is the overall sponsor for the construction project.

Work began on February 28 with initial demolition work, and it is expected to be completed by the middle of June, according to the site's construction manager Lewis Chapman.

Working right alongside the volunteers is the Krivanjeva family, who will soon be able to move from their two-bedroom apartment in the Snellville area to the remodeled home on Burnt Leaf Lane. For the six-member family, which includes four children 11 to 21, the apartment is not ideal.

"It actually means a lot," said Yrajden Krivanjeva, 20, of the effort going into their new home. "The apartment is kind of too small for our family, you know. The house really makes a big difference for our family."

The Krivanjevas moved from Kosovo in 1999 and wanted a home of their own, but it wasn't until learning about the program at Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity that homeownership became a reality.

"It means a lot really," said Krivanjeva, whose parents both work at an area hotel. "We had talked about a house, but we really couldn't afford one."

He added that "I would like to thank everyone for all this help; this really means a lot to us."

Tom Condon, a Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity board member, said future homeowners have to do 350 hours of servant hours with the organization before being able to move in, but that it's well worth the effort of the homeowners and the volunteers.

"You know these type of things are just really good to help people get a leg up," he said. "It's so hard to get that first initial leg up in life."

To learn more about the homeowner programs at Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity, including requirements and sponsorshop opportunities, check out the nonprofit's website or call (770) 931-8080.

To see other photos of the Snellville home construction, click here to be taken to the "active construction" page of the Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity website.

This article originally ran in the Snellville Patch on May 15, 2012.

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