Blitz putting two new houses in Millard Fuller's hometown this week

The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project is in the midst of a weeklong, two-house building blitz in Lanett, Ala. — hometown of Fuller Center for Housing founder Millard Fuller.

Dozens of volunteers are in town to build in partnership with soon-to-be homeowners Malisia Holloway and Marcellus Potts. CFCP Director Kim Roberts said more than 40 people each day have been volunteering on the two houses, which are on track to be completed in time for Friday’s 4:30 p.m. dedication.

Holloway’s house is being sponsored by Kia, while Potts’ home is sponsored by J. Smith Lanier & Co. Of course, many others have stepped to the plate to help make this build possible — including wall supplier CrossRoads Missions with wall panels from First Baptist Church-Snellville, GA.

Though the midpoint of a blitz build is often considered the toughest with two tiring days of work behind the volunteers and only two more days left to get the work done, Roberts had nothing but praise for the volunteers from out-of-town and the local community.

“Oh my God, they’re amazing!” she said Wednesday. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a build come together so fast! It’s been wonderful. We’ve got sheetrock hung and mud drying. We’re hanging Hardie Board today and doing flooring tomorrow. We’ll be done Friday.”

Potts, who like Roberts is a double-amputee, is even more excited. A 59-year-old diabetic, his lower legs were amputated last year after becoming infected. His house will be the 31st new home completed by the CFCP and will sit atop a hill overlooking a neighborhood full of homes like his in an area once considered undesirable.

“I just feel so blessed,” Potts said. “God is real good. They find these people to work with who enjoy what they’re doing, and they just thrill me to death. You’ve got a lot of good people in the world, and this shows the real goodness of them.

“I still can’t believe it, even though I see it coming up right now,” he continued. “It’s just a good feeling all over. I truly give all of the praise to Jesus Christ. I’m going to be able to sit on a front porch. I might even get me a rocking chair and enjoy the rest of my days.”

Potts’ mother was once an employee of J. Smith Lanier & Co., sponsors of his house. After she died, he could not keep up with the $756 rent and other bills for the apartment they once shared.

“She worked for Smith Lanier for most of her life, and they really cared about her,” he said.

Also like Roberts, he is hard to slow down.

“We have to make sure he doesn’t overdo it,” Roberts said. “He’s been working hard and has had a lot of family to come out to help — as has Melissa and her family.”


Click here to see a photo gallery that is being updated throughout the build.

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