Foundations of faith

Published 4:35 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Members of a Helena church have teamed up with a few local businesses to help make life better for a Helena resident and her son.

Members of the Church at Cahaba Bend began working on the house on Scurlock Road in late February after one of the church’s members discovered the house was in a state of disrepair.

“One of our more active members talked to the lady, and said her house was coming down around her,” said church member John Mason-Smith, noting the house belongs to a single mother and her son. “He went and looked at the house, and then we started to get a group together to go out and work on it.”

“She is working two jobs, and is kind of stuck in the middle of all this and there’s nothing she can do about it,” he added.

In three weeks, the group disposed of more than 30 bags of trash, repaired several burst pipes, repaired flooring and completed two unfinished rooms in the back of the house.

“There was an area that the lady’s husband had started before he left, but it had never been finished,” Mason-Smith said, noting Mail South also helped work on the house. “An Alabaster company, Windows, Doors and More, donated a crew to come in this week and hang sheetrock, finish and paint the new bedrooms.”

After the new bedrooms were finished, the woman and her son moved into them until the rest of the house is restored.

Because the home had no running water, Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale reduced the amount of unpaid water bills owed by the woman and credited her for the late fees she owed to the city’s Water Department. A church member then paid off the woman’s water debt.

Because the restoration project is entirely funded by donations and all work is being done by volunteers, the church is asking anyone interested in helping with the project to call Mason-Smith at 924-3474.

The group’s next work day at the house will be March 27, and crews will begin working at 8 a.m.

“It’s been extremely exciting so far. I have been getting phone call after phone call from people wanting to help out,” John Mason-Smith said. “Sometimes a donation or a piece of material will show up, and I don’t even know where it’s coming from.

“We still have a couple more months of work until it’s finished,” he added. “But it has really come a long way since we started working on it.”