CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to benefit Habitat for Humanity is returning to Charlotte with WCNC Charlotte as a proud partner.
Volunteers will come together to build 39 new homes at an affordable housing development near the airport in west Charlotte. Preparations will culminate with construction taking place the first week of October.
"I am a single mom of Baylie," Lapri Holmes, who will be living in one of the future homes, told WCNC Chralotte's Sarah French. "She's 15 years old."
Holmes is a soon-to-be homeowner for the very first time. And she's definitely hands-on.
"I applied to be part of the Habitat Homeownership Program, and after that we did a lot of volunteer hours," Holmes explained. "I've literally been here almost every day that we build on my home. So I put in all of the blood, the sweat, and the tears to ensure that my house is built in this community."
Habitat for Humanity will be building that community in west Charlotte. The $10.6 million development is called The Meadows at Plato Place and is named after the all-Black grade school that once stood there.
VOLUNTEER TO HELP: Habitat for Humanity's website has information on how to volunteer, donate, and contribute
For Laura Belcher, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, building affordable housing in the area is her top goal.
"It's really a challenge in Charlotte. The need for housing is immense," Belcher told French. "We have a multi-year backlog, a pipeline of applicants that are qualified and ready for housing. We're just trying to build as fast as we can."
For Holmes, a home is a dream come true.
"I feel proud to be able to have a home to provide shelter for me and for Baylie -- and to even leave that legacy to her," Holmes said.
"I think it's really important because we're anchoring affordable home ownership into a part of the community that does not have a lot of ownership options," Belcher explained. "And so by doing that, we will bring families that will be here for years and generations, they'll raise their children here, they will be anchored to this community."
Lapri's daughter, Baylie, is excited as well.
"It feels great. Can't wait to have my own room and design it," she said. "I need somewhere I can be safe and just be myself with my family."
Her mother is overjoyed to give Baylie a place called home.
"Home means family," Holmes said. "Home is like happy. It's our safe haven. And it's peaceful."
Ahead of October, WCNC Charlotte will share stories about the affordable housing struggle in Charlotte and how the "Carter Work Project” will help those in need. Among the celebrities who will be in Charlotte to lend their voices – and their muscles – Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood!
Contact Sarah French at Sarah@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING COVERAGE
This story is part of ‘I Can’t Afford to Live Here,’ a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte.
WCNC Charlotte is part of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative (CJC), launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with funding from the Knight Foundation. The CJC strengthens the local news ecosystem and increases opportunities for engagement. It is supported by a combination of local and national grants and sponsorships. For more information, visit charlottejournalism.org.