Since moving into her new home in Lanett, Ala., Lisa Trammell has noticed a lot of activity outside. People keep walking around, driving by, or pulling up their cars and parking, just to look.
"It’s been like a parade over here," Trammell said.
The attraction is six new homes, including one owned by Trammell, all freshly built, painted and manicured. The houses were built in the Jackson Heights neighborhood during the Fuller Center’s first annual Millard Fuller Legacy Build.
During the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 300 volunteers gathered to build those six homes and renovate eight others for the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project, the Fuller Center covenant partner that hosted the Legacy Build.
And now about a month after the build, the six homes have six happy families living inside.
"It was such a bad area before," Trammell said. "It’s really brightened the community."
After the volunteers left, the homes needed some painting and other small, but time-consuming work done before they could be lived in. So the families and their friends got together and worked as one team.
"We started with the first and we just kept right on going until they were all done," Kim Roberts, the CFCP Family Partner, said.
"We were excited, and we were glad to help each other out," Trammell said.
Roberts said the homeowners all accomplished more sweat equity hours than were required of their partnership agreement. And to speed up the work—many were putting in 40-60 hour weeks working on top of their normal jobs—she invited some local police and fire department workers to volunteer.
The landscaping was the last piece to be finished, and it was all done by Oct. 5. The families all moved in Oct. 6, and are finally out of the overcrowded or substandard housing situations they were in before.
Trammell was finally able to move out of her sister’s home where six people were packed into a small house. Now she and her daughter Alexis and granddaughter, 19-month-old Kamora, are able to spread out.
"It’s like a miracle," Trammell, who works as a caretaker, said. "I can get up in the morning and not have to wait on the bathroom. It’s just a blessing."
She said Kamora loves running from one end of the house to the other–something she didn’t really have room to do before. Alexis loves it too. "
They’re so proud and so happy," Trammell said. She can’t believe the difference owning a home has made in her respect for homes, and respect for the work they take. Renting, or living in someone else’s home made her apathetic about her surroundings.
"It’s motivating me to want to get out and work harder," she said.
The other five homeowners are moving full steam ahead as well.
"I’ve seen a ray of joy in their lives," Roberts said. "I really want this to be a fresh start for them."