Habitat taps Paul Brown as executive director

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By Farah Bohannon

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Jackson County Habitat for Humanity has hired Paul Brown as the new executive director.

Paul is passionate about serving others by building warm, cozy and sturdy homes for the less fortunate.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian, ecumenical non-profit ministry with the mindset that everyone should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. This ministry helps people of all backgrounds and accepts volunteers of all backgrounds. No matter what race, religion or belief, the goal remains the same: to love others and provide them with a place to call home.

Paul has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 1994 when he was a construction volunteer with Gwinnett County HFH and built a house in Duluth. On the site, he recognized a woman he worked with and inquired about her participation in the project. She quickly informed him that the house was for her, and he has been involved as much as possible ever since.

Within the next year, Paul noticed in the newspaper that an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity would make its way to Barrow County. He has been a driving force in the building of Habitat houses in Barrow County.

“I knew I wanted to participate because it was closer to home, so I’ve been volunteering and a founding board member since the beginning,” Paul said enthusiastically.

Increasing awareness and involvement is extremely important, and Paul agrees. “Inviting people to come watch on the day we raise the walls of the house causes excitement and motivation because it literally goes from looking like nothing, to looking like a beautiful house,” Paul says.

The standing walls are a visual to those who may not know about Habitat for Humanity and they show that yes, a house is being built and it will be sturdy and strong. Paul also says that the glow on the new homeowners’ faces as they receive the keys to the new house is an unforgettable sight for anyone.

“And how can one sleep at night knowing that there is a family sleeping in their car or a shed? God commands us to love our neighbor as ourself,” Paul says.

A stable and reliable home can really make a positive difference in people’s lives — homeowners become more involved in the community, children improve in school, people hold jobs longer, and families are overall much healthier.

Not only is Habitat for Humanity an incredible gift for a less fortunate family, you will have an amazing experience — you will meet friends, get dirty, sweaty, make memories and make a difference in the community.

Paul has big goals for the future of Habitat for Humanity in Jackson County. He wants to see this ministry become more involved with county communities and vise versa. The main goal is to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness in Jackson County completely, but it cannot be done alone. If everyone works together, more people will have homes to go to every night after each day, which is a blessing.

For more information, visit http://www.habitat.org/

Farah Bohannon is a freelance writer living in Winder. She loves to utilize her writing and marketing skills with inspiring stories. Reach her at farah.bohannon@gmail.com