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Published 11:32 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

New home: Nancy Thrower and Brenda Thrower Jones stand outside the home built for Nancy and her husband John earlier this year.

Hobson homeowners have cause to celebrate

For 27 years, John and Nancy Thrower lived in a home with no bathroom, no heat, no air conditioning and no running water.

A homeless man once broke into their home thinking it was deserted.

But on Friday, the Throwers proudly put their new home on display and opened it to the community.

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The Throwers were one of four Hobson families who showed their new homes to community members and officials to celebrate the completion of the five houses that recently were rebuilt through the efforts of the Southeastern Rural Community Assistance Project.

“It’s awesome to see what has been provided to these families,” said Hope Cupit, chief executive officer of the organization. “It’s about giving back lives and dignity to people. It gives them pride in their property. It even brings equity and sustainability to them. It’s good to see how everything turned out.”

SRCAP is a nonprofit agency that focuses on bringing water and wastewater services, loans, grants and other assistance to rural, low-income families in the seven states it serves, including Virginia.

When SRCAP came to Hobson to install running water a few years ago, Thrower was one of 13 applicants for a program that would demolish and rebuild their homes.

“Our bathroom was so old, it fell through the floor,” Thrower said. “A lot of people don’t know that. It had been my wife’s mother’s home, and we came to help her. It was built in the 1930s and the house just was what it was.”

It’s now been a year and a half since the project has been underway.

The Throwers moved into their new home on April 28.

There were a few hold-ups in the process, but Thrower and the other families are just glad to have their homes and to be able to celebrate what they hope is a change of tide in the community.

“For me, this is an opportunity to get my wife out of these living conditions,” Thrower said. “This is a better way of life for us. People talk about how this is going to kill us financially, but it’s not. All I can say is that this whole project is a gift from God.”

Thrower added that this project is just the beginning of a new standard in Hobson.

His dream is for the community one day to have sidewalks and a playground.

“This is a prime example that if you look for it, there is help out there,” he said. “We can keep working to pull people together and work with the city. Hobson can look better than it’s been looking. This is just the beginning.”