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Habitat for Humanity, bank break ground

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

Help came at just the right time for the local family chosen to receive McCracken County's latest Habitat for Humanity home.

Jessica Titsworth, 33, planned to move in with a relative to start the lengthy process of saving up for her own home. But when she heard her application to Habitat for Humanity had been accepted, everything started moving quickly for Titsworth and daughters Sidney, 3, and Haley, 9. Weather permitting, the family will move into a home of their own in the 1100 block of Monroe Street in about three months: far sooner than they had imagined.

"I haven't had time to process it," Titsworth said Thursday afternoon at the groundbreaking for the home. "(My daughters) still don't believe me."

Independence Bank donated $25,000 to Habitat for Humanity and committed to build the home in April. The bank has completed houses in six other counties, and plans to build nine houses in the counties it serves. As at previous builds, bank employees will volunteer to help construct the house on company time, bank President Danny Evitts said.

"We want to make sure we leave the community better because we're in it," Evitts said. "It gives us a sense of pride to help a family."

Habitat for Humanity selects its recipients based on need, ability to repay a no-interest mortgage loan and willingness to partner in the construction of their home, said Angie Wilke, executive director for the Paducah-McCracken County branch of the nonprofit.

She added that the city of Paducah donated the lot, which already houses one Habitat for Humanity home, to the nonprofit.

"This is what the city of Paducah wants to see," Mayor Gayle Kaler said during the groundbreaking. "We don't want to see empty lots."

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