Century, County And Habitat Celebrate New Home For Tornado Victim

May 10, 2017

Life changed in an instant for Eddie Hammond on February 15, 2016, as an EF-3 tornado ripped through Century — and ripped through his home, leaving it in ruins.

Hammond, who was losing his eyesight, would retire a month later from his job of 33 years with the Town of Century. He did not know what his future would hold. Until he became involved with the SHIP, State Housing Initiatives Partnership, Program through Escambia County and Habitat For Humanity.

“Fifteen months ago, I didn’t know where I was going. There way no way…I can’t afford to get anything. I just thank God for what they have done,” Hammond said Tuesday at a ribbon cutting for his new home, the first in the town of Century completed under the SHIP Program.

“I’ll sure be glad to get into it. I’ve been gone from home for 15 months. It’s time to be back in my own house,” Hammond said. Without the program, Hammond said he would still be living with his parents.

“I’d be living in that house right yonder with my parents. It’s the only place I’d have to go,” he said.

“I’m certainly very happy for Mr. Hammond and his family, but I’m also excited for the residents of Century. I have promised our partners in Century, including Mayor Hawkins, and the Town Council that Escambia County will continue to work with them to help in every way possible,” Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry said. “Also, I want to personally thank Habitat for Humanity, BRACE, and Legal Services of North Florida for their tireless support, not only in this project, but over the entire 15 months since the devastating storms last spring.”

“If you are going to talk a game, you’ve got to walk your talk,” Century Mayor Henry Hawkins said the county’s cooperation on the project. “And Escambia County has been walking the walk with us, and we are thankful for that.”

For more photos, click here.

Escambia County has completed three replacement houses under SHIP with Habitat/Northwest Florida Community Housing Development Corporation Inc., with seven more in progress. Additionally, four more homes are being completed through funding provided through the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority. Habitat was able to leverage SHIP dollars with Community Contribution Tax Credit Funding and volunteer labor to complete the housing units.

After the tornado, the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners entered into an agreement with Northwest Florida Community Housing Development Corporation Inc. to provide up to $50,000 in SHIP disaster funding per property to help fund replacement housing for eligible homeowners.

Additionally, NFCHDC partnered with the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority to provide replacement housing for tornado survivors who could not qualify under the SHIP program.

This project is a significant collaboration between Escambia County, the town of Century, Legal Services of North Florida, the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority, the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies, NFCHDC, World Renew, United Way, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity and many other volunteer organizations. These agencies have collectively provided financing, facilitated applicant intake, served as the case managers, worked on legal issues to help owners gain a clear title and provide construction oversight and labor.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured top: Eddie Hammond receives the keys to his new home. Pictured bottom inset: Mayor Henry Hawkins. Pictured below: Hammond cuts the ribbon his new home, the first in the town of Century completed under the SHIP Program through Escambia County and Habitat for Humanity. Pictured bottom: Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry addresses a crowd at the ribbon cutting. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


3 Responses to “Century, County And Habitat Celebrate New Home For Tornado Victim”

  1. Retired on May 10th, 2017 11:30 am

    Thanks for this story :)
    Prayers for the continued recovery in Century and thanks for all the leaders and organizations involved.

    Must be complex but it takes a special dedication and perseverance to make these things happen.

    Hopefully Mr. Hammond is paying it forward and helping other residents get to this point also. I am sure it was a learning process to say the least.

    I am especially pleased that Mayor Hawkins and Commissioner Barry are working together.

    I look forward to seeing other improvements and positive changes.

  2. Tina Freeman on May 10th, 2017 8:25 am

    Im hoping and waiting to see so many others as well who qualify for a new home.My heart goes out to those who have fallen to the way side and have been denied,as until you have experienced it one does not know the hardship.God be with them.I pray God’s Will be done in Century as it is in heaven.Hopefully the new upcoming apartments will be offered according to the income of Century’s income.The fundings have been sent thats for sure,we just have to wait and see how they’re used!!!

  3. KathyBrady on May 10th, 2017 7:06 am

    So Happy for you Eddie, I also was blessed to receive help from Brace,and the habitat.Happy for you.

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