Berkeley Independent


Berkeley, Indiana

Dream becomes reality for Moncks Corner family

June 10, 2008
Story and photo by Albany Gault


Jeremy Graves
From (l-r) Benjamin and Barbara Batton, Tom and Bonnie Chamberlain of Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County, First Coast Homes president Jeremy Graves and Habitat for Humanity International’s Roger Byrd stand in front of the donated home on Fennick St.

A family in need has a new home in Moncks Corner.

The house was built on a partnership between First Coast Homes and Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County.

Benjamin and Barbara Batton are the residents of a brand new home on Fennick Street.

“This was my mama’s dream for me,” Barbara said. Barbara recently lost her mother to an illness.

The Battons applied for a house with Habitat for Humanity because their home in Pineville was hazardous to the couple’s health. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity, and the ceiling and windows leaked causing soft spots in the floors.

Barbara is recovering from cancer and Benjamin suffers from diabetes. The Battons were afraid that one of them wouldn’t be alive to see their dream come true. Thanks to Tom and Bonnie Chamberlain of Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County, their dream is now a reality.

“It’s been amazing,” Benjamin said. “I’ve never seen anything go up as fast as this.”

Jeremy Graves is the president of First Coast Homes. His team worked fast in summer heat to get the house completed. This is the company’s second year partnering with Habitat for Humanity.

“The important thing is doing what we do professionally into helping people,” Graves said.

The Batton’s home was a part of Habitat for Humanity International’s Home Builders Blitz 2008.

Roger Byrd is a building/ product specialist with Habitat for Humanity International. Byrd travels all over the Southeast visiting building blitz sites.

“Not all habitat programs work this way,” said Byrd.

The Home Builders Blitz is unique because it’s a partnership between local affiliates and professional builders, said Byrd. In the week of June 2-7, 200 out of the total 263 houses were built across the U.S. at 110 locations. The other 63 houses were delayed due to weather and land availability.

The Battons survived in their past living conditions with the help of Barbara’s stepfather Steve Troxel. He opened his home to them for their needs including washing dishes and taking hot showers. “I do what I can for them,” Troxel said.

The Battons expressed that they have wanted a new home for more than two years.