“It is probably the most amazing moment because the families have worked so diligent on building their house,” Hooker told The Daily Tribune News before handing the keys to a family of eight in 2011. “They’ve worked with Habitat. They’ve worked with our construction team and all the other volunteers in the local area working on their house.
“So it’s an enjoyable yet rewarding moment for us as Habitat employees and for myself because it’s reality. It’s something that they really get to hold in their hands and they get to move into and enjoy for the rest of their lives.”
Since forming in 1984, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity has constructed about 44 residences. The nonprofit currently is building a pair of three-bedroom homes at 22 and 24 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Cartersville residences — one funded by Anheuser-Busch and the other by a Community Development Block Grant — are expected to be complete by the end of May.
An average of 150 people apply each year, with 10 percent of their applications being further reviewed. To be approved, applicants need to satisfy various requirements, such as meeting income guidelines, living or working in Bartow County for at least one year, contributing at least 450 hours in their home’s construction and being able to pay for their residence. Valued at about $140,000, the nonprofit’s homes are sold for about $80,000. House payments issued by Habitat range from $400 to $450 a month, which includes taxes and insurance.
Name: Robin Hooker
Occupation/Title: President of the Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity
City of residence: Euharlee
Family: Husband — Mark; children — Sterling, Marleigh and Eli; and dogs — Cocoa and Maggie
Education: Degree in marketing and merchandising
How long have you been working at Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity?
A: I started working for Habitat for Humanity in February 2004.
What are your responsibilities and what led you to this line of work?
A: I oversee the day-to-day business of Habitat for Humanity; I wanted to give back to the community.
What challenges does Habitat face in trying to provide affordable, quality housing in Bartow County?
A: The main challenge is always money.
What are your short-term and long-term goals at Habitat?
A: Short-term and long-term [goals] are the same — I would like to see less homelessness and substandard living conditions in Bartow County. I want to build more homes in Bartow County.
What is the most rewarding part about your line of work?
A: Helping people in need.
What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
A: My greatest personal achievement — my three amazing children. I am so proud of them.
If you were not in this line of work, what would you like to do?
A: I would go back into some type of management.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
A: Kind, humble, giving.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I love to sing.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
A: My mother and father always told me growing up to “believe in myself and that I could do anything I set my mind to.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: Spend time with my family. I love spending time with my husband on our boat fishing.