Working mom gets help from local business to build home

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 5:10pm

Kiesha Powell will become a first time home owner in December all thanks to a partnership between ExxonMobil Baton Rouge and Habitat for Humanity.

"It's starting to look like a home," said mother of four.

She has spent the past six weeks along side volunteers building her new home from the ground up.

"I realize sweat equity really means sweat, but I kind of built my own house which is a fun experience," said Powell.

Twenty ExxonMobil volunteers were on hand Wednesday. It's part of ExxonMobil's plan to fund a Habitat for Humanity home build every other year. The company has built 9 homes in East Baton Rouge and assisted 14 families.

"It's very important since they are a neighbor in this community people want to see the people who work there and want to know them, " said retired ExxonMobil worker Glenn Jarreau.

ExxonMobil volunteer Lekiesha Tatman's family lives nearby and owns a framing company. She says she feels a special connection when helping out to build Powell's home. She's proud to be apart of the revitalization of the Scotlandville community.

"To also know that this home is going to somebody that is deserving is really what drives me to come out," said Tatman.

There is still much left to do to complete Powell's home, but everyday volunteers come to help she is one step closer to earning her keys.

"I can't wait it's my colors," said Powell. "I picked everything out. I picked my shutters. I can't wait to see it all come together. "

Powell says she is a little nervous about owning her own home but her kids are helping her through it even wanting to take on a little extra responsibility.

"my twins are already like oh we are going to cut the grass. i was like baby we aren't going to have real grass just yet, but ok."

Lynn Clark with Habitat for Humanity says over they years habitat built 26 homes in Powell's neighborhood. She says Scotlandville is one of habitat's target areas.

"We really believe that the way you improve our community and build up and reclaim our neighborhoods is by bringing in good families that are really committed to making a difference in their neighborhood," said Clark.

Powell says she's proud to join her neighbors in a habitat home.

"Mothers that worked just as hard as me," said Powell. "They appreciate what they did for their houses. They are not going to just let the community go down. "

Clark says Powell's three bedroom one and a half bath home will be sold to Powell for $71 thousand dollars. Powell will then pay monthly installments on a mortgage through Habitat for Humanity.

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