Habitat for Humanity Rebuilds Neighborhood | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Habitat for Humanity Rebuilds Neighborhood

Habitat For Humanity/Metro Jackson recently completed 22 of 27 new homes in the formerly derelict Englewood Gardens neighborhood, with the help from the new home owners.

Habitat For Humanity/Metro Jackson recently completed 22 of 27 new homes in the formerly derelict Englewood Gardens neighborhood, with the help from the new home owners. Photo by Trip Burns.

Habitat for Humanity unveiled 22 new homes in a Jackson neighborhood that just a couple of years ago served as a dumping ground and the notorious site for illegal and nefarious activities.

The Englewood Gardens neighborhood, located off of Woodrow Wilson Avenue near Hawkins Field, originally served as military barracks for the Hawkins Military Airfield beginning in the late 1940s. Once the military moved out, though, the neighborhood began to decay as absent landowners neglected the site.

About three years ago, Habitat for Humanity/Metro Jackson began cleaning up the property. In January 2012, they started building brand new homes in the neighborhood, with a one-of-a-kind construction project in Jackson. The unique factor was one that HFH/MJ executive director Cindy Griffin said helps create a community before anyone moves into their homes.

"(The new home owners) worked on their homes," Griffin told the Jackson Free Press. "That's what is a really nice component of doing a neighborhood like this, because they meet each other (and) they become friends before they even become neighbors, because they've been working on each others' homes."

Along with helping build the homes, home owners in Englewood Gardens also attended a six-week financial counseling class called Financial Peace University.

Now, 22 of the planned 27 homes in the neighborhood are complete. HFH/MJ held an unveiling celebration Oct. 24 with the help of Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., state Sen. Hillman Frazier and the Adult Gospel Choir of Nissan.

"It amounts to a subdivision, quite frankly, a Habitat subdivision," Johnson said. "It's a new concept. It's a great concept. Habitat does a great job in revitalizing areas throughout the city. This is one they've obviously put a great deal of resources into."

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