»

Family chosen for Seneca Habitat project

Brandy Paulk hasn’t had it easy. She’s a single mother struggling to build a better life for her two teenage girls. For the past seven years, she’s been working full time at Tarjac, a manufacturing facility on Route 414 .“I guess you could say I’ve had a pretty hard life,” she admitted. “I’ve struggled. I had a husband, but he went to prison and we divorced.” So Brandy, 40, has raised Shaniqura, 18, and Markisha, 16, pretty much on her own.That’s why the news that she was selected to be the owner of the newest Habitat for Humanity home was such great news. “At first, I thought they were joking. I never thought I’d have a house of my own,” she said. “And then I got really excited. I’m already packing.” And the fact that she will live in the first Women Build home in Seneca County was icing on the cake. Although she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, “I think it’s pretty neat,” she said. “We are so excited to be building a house for this deserving family,” said Sue Case, Women Build head of construction. “We hope their story will inspire lots of women to volunteer to help.”For the past 12 years, the Paulk family has lived in what a Seneca Housing Authority official has termed substandard housing. That means that when it rains or the snow melts, water backs up in her basement where the washer and dryer are located, bringing with it the smell of sewage, black mold and other unpleasantness. “When the basement is wet, we can’t wash our clothes or flush the toilets,” Brandy explained.That’s not the only thing the Paulks are looking forward to leaving behind, They also won’t miss the bathroom, a tiny room the size of a closet that houses a large claw-foot bathtub, and has enough floor space for only one person at a time.

Also on FingerLakes1.com