Serving Suffolk’s needy – Aug. 23, 2005

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

We reported last week that volunteers gathered at West End Baptist Church last week organize Building Suffolk Inc.

Building Suffolk Inc., like Habitat for Humanity from which it splintered, will build quality homes for the &uot;poor&uot; in Suffolk. It’s been incorporated by former officials of the local Habitat for Humanity group.

While the cause is good, I hope officials do a good job in screening applicants.

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I bring this up because a reader emailed me a couple photos on Sunday of a &uot;Habitat&uot; home here in Suffolk:

&uot;I’m sure you are familiar with the Habitat for Humanity program. It is indeed a noble idea to supply a free house to those poor among us that cannot afford one otherwise.

&uot;One such house was built here in Suffolk last year. Built with volunteer labor and donated materials.

Below are a couple of pictures I took today to show you what can be provided to the destitute among us. Please take special note of the nice concrete driveway.&uot;

I glanced at the photos and was a little perplexed. I replied merely that &uot;yes, it’s an admirable program. Perhaps you would like to write a letter to the editor about it.&uot;

He wrote me back a little later that perhaps his suggestion was too subtle. I looked at the photos again and boy did I feel stupid.

Here was a Habitat for Humanity home built for a &uot;poor&uot; person, yet it had a satellite dish on the roof and a Mercedes Benz in the driveway.

It didn’t prove, of course, that the Benz belonged to the occupant, but I’m sure it wasn’t a visitor’s satellite dish attached to the roof.

I hate to pass judgment on people, but this just seems a bit much. If you can afford a $100-a-month satellite bill and be able to pay for the insurance on a luxury car, you don’t need good, compassionate, hard-working volunteers building a house for you.

I could be jumping to conclusions, though. For all I know, the home’s occupant only has one HBO package on the dish. Oh, the humanity.