February 9, 2012
A Sustainable Future
Nissan and Habitat for Humanity kick off sustainable building grant program in Atlanta area U.S. with Nissan employees, dealers and customers joining grant recipient Southern Crescent Habitat to build energy-efficient home.
Kenya Bouie, a single mother of two, understands the concept of sweat equity. And, now her willingness to invest in others’, and in her own, future is paying off in a life-changing event.
Bouie will soon move into a new home in Jonesboro, Ga., that volunteers from Nissan are helping to build along with Habitat for Humanity. Bouie’s house will be certified to Energy Star 3.0 requirements, recognized as an advanced level of energy efficiency.
The house is the first of 10 Habitat for Humanity homes that will be built around the U.S. as a result of a sustainable building grant from Nissan.
Bouie first worked with Habitat for five months, helping to remodel other Habitat houses and improve neighborhoods, before building her own house. “I met a lot of people” she said, and realized I wasn’t the only one facing an uphill housing battle.“
At the same time, Bouie showed Habitat that she understood and appreciated what a unique opportunity she was being offered, “And, I learned what should be done in a home when something happens, how to fix it without having to spend a lot of money (to be) cost efficient, and it helps me be independent.”
The sustainable building program is part of an ongoing multimillion dollar partnership between Nissan and Habitat. Since the partnership began in 2005, Nissan has donated 104 vehicles to support Habitat’s mission, and its employees have built more than 50 Habitat homes in communities where Nissan has corporate operations and manufacturing plants.
A few dozen Nissan employees and local Nissan dealership employees put in their own sweat equity at the Jonesboro jobsite, directly investing in Kenya Bouie and the future of her two young girls. In a matter of days, the three-bedroom home will be ready for roofers and utility installers to follow.
Kenya Bouie will be moving out of an apartment complex in Clayton County, which she described as too crime-ridden to let her girls play outside. She hammered, lifted, laughed, and sweated along with the construction volunteers, and as the framing of her home quickly raised, Bouie expressed her gratitude over and over. She couldn’t stop smiling while she worked. “I’ll never forget what people are doing for me and my girls”, she said.