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Habitat Home Dedicated

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)--  Family and friends gathered to remember Chris Horne, late son-in-law of Hamilton County Commissioner Bill Hullander and celebrate the completion of a Habitat for Humanity home built in his memory for Michelle Moore and her family.

 Michelle and her two daughters are more than excited to have the opportunity to become Habitat homeowners. The conditions in which they lived before were beyond inadequate. In addition to insect infestations and a landlord who refused to fix problems, Michelle found it almost impossible to pay the high rent. Her children lacked a safe and decent place to play. "After my car was broken into for the second time, I knew I had to find a better home for my family," she said.

"Family has always been very important to me. Our dad passed away when I was only two years old, so my brother has been like a father to me. For a short time my brother was blessed with the privilege of playing in the NFL and was always there for me whenever I needed help." It was through his encouragement and that of a close friend that Michelle applied for the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program.

 Habitat has provided Michelle with much more than just an opportunity to receive a home-the required homeowner education classes have taught her valuable life lessons. "Like most people, I was spending money unwisely. The money management classes have taught me so much. Working full time and being a single mom makes putting in [sweat equity] hours difficult, but I know it is well worth the hard work. My daughters constantly talk about their new home. They want everything to be pink."

 More than providing a home for her daughters, Michelle will also be able to help her mom care for three of her nieces for whom she has custody. "My mom is a recent survivor of lung cancer. I can't wait to have a place where they can all come relax and be happy."

 Michelle's dream of homeownership has come true thanks to friends and family of the late Chris Horne in Chattanooga and across the country.

 Originally from North Carolina, Chris grew up in northern Virginia. After studying biology at William and Mary, he taught in Virginia, then moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for graduate work in field based education. There He met Mandy Hullander, daughter of Bill and Linda Hullander, of Chattanooga, TN. Chris stayed in Jackson Hole for seven years before briefly returning to graduate school at Antioch New England Graduate School in New Hampshire where he earned his master's degree in conservation biology. In 2007 Chris accepted a position as principal of the Summit Charter School in Cashiers, North Carolina. Mandy and Chris were married in June 2007 and while on a trip to Baja, Mexico in November 2007, they were involved in an automobile accident, which claimed his life.

 "I approached Habitat with this idea to not only honor my late brother-in-law but to help a family in need and give our employees a chance to participate and give back as well," says Matt Hullander. "Chris would be proud and is for sure missed. We really appreciate all of those who donated funds or materials to this effort to honor Chris."

 Materials or services for the home were provided by Alside Incorporated , Associated Roofing & Insulation, Chester Bankston of C.B. Electric, Drain Right Guttering, Elegant Accents, Excel Contracting, Howard Outdoors, Hullco Exteriors, J.B. Millworks, James Wilson Crane Company, Key's Carpet Center, Lansing Building Products, Mike Bible Carpet, Shane Foley, Scott Orr, Sun Windows, Sunrise Windows , Ted Fugunt Heat & Air, and Wally's Restaurant . Financial support came from more than 100 individuals and groups from Chattanooga and around the United States.


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