Latasha Keitt gets emotional when she talks about how happy and grateful she is that her dream of homeownership has come true.

“I used to draw my home, and here we are today with the finished product,” Keitt said.

Her dream came true with the help of Edisto Habitat for Humanity, which works to provide affordable housing in Orangeburg.

It dedicated Keitt’s home at 380 Margot St. on May 22.

The home is the 97th built by the ministry’s volunteers. More are already set to be constructed.

“We’re thrilled with the dedication of this home. Any family that receives the ability to be stabilized and live, love, learn and grow is what we’re about,” EHFH Executive Director Jessica Burgoyne said.

She said Habitat will be building two other homes in the coming months, as well as developing six lots on Whaley and Fulton streets near the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds next year.

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“At end of this year, we’re going to start finishing another home, our 98th, and begin our 99th hopefully in December. It’s going to be our first cozy home in Orangeburg. It’s kind of a take on a tiny house,” Burgoyne said.

Keitt was joined by her mother, grandmother and two young daughters at the dedication. She said becoming a homeowner marks the start of a new phase in her life.

“You put God first. All things are possible through him. I’m excited. We’ve had a long journey. To be able to do this for my girls means everything. I am blessed, and I appreciate everybody,” she said.

State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said she was thrilled to see Edisto Habitat for Humanity continue with its mission.

“It’s a great day in Orangeburg County. I am thrilled to be here for Ms. Keitt and her family for the 97th home here in Orangeburg County. This is quite a blessing. Let me thank the volunteers. … It wouldn’t happen without you,” she said.

The legislator continued, “I really appreciate the opportunity to work at the state level. What we’re trying to do on the state level is recognize that not every county is as lucky as we are here in Orangeburg County.

“There are counties where we don’t have the presence of Habitat like we do here. So on a statewide level, along with Nancy Lee and the South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, we’re trying to do better to make sure that there is money to do this in all 46 counties.”

Allied Air Enterprises was among the sponsors of Habitat’s 97th home. The ministry also received help from a $50,000 federal American Rescue Plan Act grant from the City of Orangeburg.

Cobb-Hunter thanked the home sponsors and urged other businesses to support Edisto Habitat for Humanity.

“We want you to step up to the plate. We want you to recognize that this is about wealth accumulation. The best way to accumulate wealth is with homeownership,” she said.

Orangeburg City Councilwoman Annette Dees Grevious said, “This is truly wonderful because we know that there is a housing deficit in Orangeburg, so to be able to provide a home to a family is truly remarkable.”

“We’re truly grateful for the work that Edisto Habitat for Humanity has done and does, as well as for Gilda Cobb-Hunter and the state for providing funds to be able to do this type of work,” the councilwoman said.

Burgoyne presented a few Community Builder Awards during the ceremony.

The City of Orangeburg’s Community Builder Award was presented to Grevious.

The EHFH executive director also presented Bobby Padgett of Allied Air Enterprises with Community Builder Awards for both Allied Air Enterprises and its LII Lennox Foundation.

Allied Air Enterprises provides HVAC units for every home EHFH builds, along with volunteers.

“The sponsors of this home are very unique. We were able to use an ARPA grant from the City of Orangeburg, and we’re grateful for that. Additionally, Allied Air has been a sponsor of ours for many years, but we’re thrilled to have the participation of the Lennox Foundation this time,” Burgoyne said.

“These are really challenging times. Our economy is a challenge. Prices of everything have doubled and tripled in some cases. So any support that the community can give us, we are truly grateful for,” she said.

Burgoyne said nothing could be done without Edisto Habitat for Humanity’s faithful volunteer base.

Padgett said, “I am proud of all the employees of ours and others who have volunteered their time to make this house a reality. … I also want to give special recognition to those more than 125 women from 30 different organizations who participated in Women’s Build.”

“Allied Air Enterprises, along with LII Lennox Foundation, is exceptionally committed to both the betterment of our community and to empowering families through safe, affordable housing,” he said.

Padgett thanked the LII Lennox Foundation for its most recent gift of $40,000 to support Habitat’s 97th home.

“Since 2008, Allied Air has provided thousands of volunteer hours for Edisto Habitat for Humanity. In total, $90,000 has been provided since 2014, along with a total of 24 HVAC units for each build project,” Padgett said.

“Allied Air Enterprises and LII Lennox Foundation are proud to be a part of this community. … I want to personally thank each person who has participated in this build and encourage everyone to continue to support Edisto Habitat for Humanity in every way possible,” he said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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