One Family’s Dream Results from Partnership of Two Companies

Franklin, TN  — Habitat for Humanity volunteers watched the Hispanic family of six stand on the porch of their newly built home as the formal dedication ceremony began. It was the moment they all had been waiting for.

“It is our hope that this home we dedicate will become a beacon of hope for this family and for others,” said Ermon Lature, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County.

The Rojo family was then presented the traditional Bible from Habitat and the keys to their new home by Richard Chapman, president of The Jones Company, at the dedication ceremony held on Thursday, July 1, 2004.

Alfredo Rojo Rojo and his wife, Maria Guadalupe Perez Mendez finally realized their lifetime dream – owning their own home.   Their family of six will soon be moving into their Habitat for Humanity home in Williamson County, which resulted from the unique partnership between The Jones Company and Crye-Leike, Realtors which sponsored its construction.

The Rojo family has never owned a home, having previously rented apartments.  The family moved from Guadalajara, Mexico and has been living in the United States for five years.  Although they are not U.S. citizens yet, the paperwork is now in progress with immigration.

The Rojos learned about Habitat for Humanity through St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, and soon after attended a meeting to begin the process of applying for the home.  Since then, the family earned their sweat equity faster than any other family in the history of Habitat homes built in the area.

“We greatly thank The Jones Company and Crye-Leike Realtors for giving us the opportunity to own a home”, says Alfredo Rojo Rojo.  “This is a real dream come true.”

Alfredo Sr. is currently employed at Genghis Grill and Wild Noodle. Maria is employed at Cool Springs Galleria, and their son, Alfredo Jr., is employed at Genghis Grill.  Their other children, Sergio (18) and Ernesto (15) attend Centennial High School, and Jose (11) attends Freedom Middle School.

The Rojo’s new home rests at 211 Helping Hands Drive in Franklin, an appropriate street name crafted for this new neighborhood surrounded by other Habitat for Humanity homes.

The Rojo family is looking forward to living in a nice neighborhood in a home with a yard.  But according to Mr. Rojo, the family looks forward to “living a fruitful life”, the most.

The home is a result of the combined commitment of The Jones Company and Crye-Leike of over $70,000, more than 100 volunteers and in kind services and supplies from 46 other businesses in Davidson and Williamson counties.

Construction on the Habitat house began on June 1, 2004, in support of the National Association of Realtors’ National Homeownership Month.  “Habitat for Humanity provides an excellent opportunity for Crye-Leike to give back to the community in a meaningful way,” says Harold Crye, chief executive officer of Crye-Leike Realtors.

“Because of the dedication, expertise and resources of everyone involved, the home was completed well ahead of schedule,” says Richard Chapman.  “We were all eager to complete the project and enable the Rojos to meet their dream of home ownership.”

According to Realtor Magazine Online, the U.S. Census Bureau first-quarter numbers show that America’s homeownership rate is at an all-time high of 68.6 percent.  But while the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white persons is 75.5 percent, the homeownership rate for Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders is just 58.2 percent; for African Americans, 49.3 percent; and for Hispanics, just 47.3 percent.

Due to the language barrier between representatives from the two sponsoring companies and the Rojo family, the volunteer services of Diana McKay of the Literacy Council were enlisted.  Ms. McKay also attended the dedication ceremony to help translate in order for the family to more fully enjoy the festivities.

The Jones Company (www.livelargerforless.com), a 76-year-old residential home builder, has been rated Williamson County’s largest builder in 2002 and 2003 for the number of new housing starts by COMPASS:  Middle Tennessee Contractor Summary, which is published by InfoSource.

Crye-Leike (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for 27 years, is the nation’s 10th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike of Nashville, Inc. has 18 branch offices and one franchise office in nine counties throughout Middle Tennessee in Davidson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties, including Warren County in Kentucky.