The Cobb Catholic Coalition Builds Homes and Hope in
North West Metropolitan Atlanta
The Cobb Catholic Coalition is an amazing group of women and men who have been living out the Habitat for Humanity mission of putting God’s love into action by building homes, community and hope in partnership with the Northwest Metro Atlanta Habitat for Humanity since 1992.
CCC has built or restored more than 40 homes with the support of the church communities of Holy Family, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Ann, St Joseph and Transfiguration. The members of these Catholic parishes have donated more than $1.7 million and more than 100,000 volunteer hours since the coalition was founded. The impact this group has had on the families received the homes we built has changed many lives for current and future generations.
The seeds that grew into the Cobb Catholic Coalition were planted in 1989. Bob Brambilla, who was serving as the chairman of the site selection committee for the Habitat Affiliate, was contacted by the O.C. Hubert Foundation about the possible donation of six houses sitting on three acres in Marietta.
Three of the houses were soon to be demolished. The other three were leased and occupied, but in horrible condition. Bob contacted Gary Shirley and his friend Dan Shea. Gary and Dan had volunteered and led several projects for Habitat in the past. Because Habitat had never worked on a project of this magnitude they wanted these men to evaluate its’ feasibility. After some careful study and evaluation, the decision was made to move forward.
It was at that point Gary and Dan reached out to their and other Catholic parishes in Cobb County. Both men were amazed by the support they received. So many members of St Catherine of Siena, St Ann, Holy Family, Transfiguration and St Thomas the Apostle were generous with their financial support and worked many volunteer hours on site.
The work began in June of 1993. There were many challenges and obstacles to overcome as the project progressed. Thanks to the support of Joe Mack Wilson, Mayor of Marietta, and the city staff the project was approved. The six homes were dedicated in October of 1993.
So many members of the church communities became engaged and committed to the project they wanted to find a way to build a long-term relationship with Habitat. Gary and Dan “passed the baton” first to Joe Loviska who led the coalition for several years and eventually to Mike Christian, the current chairman. Jo Ann Green, Randy Hinton, Kevin Dunn, Jim Nee, Susan Williams, Richard Angeli, John Delves and Larry Prescott complete the leadership of this generous and amazing all volunteer organization. When Mike was asked why he has been so involved with the coalition for so long he made this comment,
“Of course, the Habitat mission is important and seeing the impact on another person’s life is powerful, but what keeps us coming back is the people who serve with us. When you’re on a build site you get to meet and work with many wonderful, good hearted people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brain surgeon or a car salesman, we’re all the same. Nothing matters more than getting a home built for a deserving family. In short, it’s a joy to meet all the people and work side by side with them.”
Since 2007 the Cobb Catholic Coalition has been funding and building two houses every year. We were able to build three in 2009. In the fall of 2017 we built new homes #40 & #41 dedicated December 4th for the Osei & Robinson families.
Home dedications are always beautiful inspiring ceremonies where the families, sponsors, volunteers and Habitat staff celebrate the challenging work, sweat, joy, and lasting relationships they have been blessed to share.
The prayer from the Habitat team is that God will continue to bless the work of their hands and hearts as the members of this wonderful group generously continue the work of helping build strength, stability, self-reliance and a hand up to families throughout the northwest metro Atlanta area.