- Associated Press - Sunday, November 18, 2018

NETTLETON, Miss. (AP) - New homeowners Angela Holmes and Ashley Fells looked with wonder at their newly built homes, which stood out starkly clean amid the mud and puddles of water that had accumulated following severe storms and tornadoes in northeast Mississippi last week.

In Nettleton, Chris Partin, recently appointed construction manager for Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Mississippi, helped welcome the two women to their new homes, which stood side by side just east of downtown.

“He showed me the blueprint, and it’s pretty nice,” Holmes said of her new home, which was paid for and mostly built by Nettleton-based Homestretch Furniture company.

Chris Partin, a former Nashville construction supervisor, looked over his very first build in new his position with Habitat for Humanity.

“I came in and we were pretty much done. The main things I’ve helped with are putting the driveways and the sidewalks in on both houses and coordinating some electrical and plumbing issues, but I won’t have full hold on the reins until we start our next one in a couple of months,” Partin said, pointing to the concrete drive and pathway to the front door of Holmes’ home.

Chris Partin said he has helped build approximately 125 homes total, over the last 15 years. He said Habitat for Humanity in Nashville builds between 30 and 40 new homes per year, and the average in northeast Mississippi is between six and 11 houses per year.

Chris Partin just took over as construction manager at Habitat for Humanity from his father, Wesley Partin, who recently retired after 15 years with the nonprofit home-building organization. He has helped his father with Habitat projects in the area for at least 12 years while living in Nashville before eventually returning to the Tupelo area.

“The best part of my job is watching the first two walls go up,” Chris Partin said.

“I’ve been on roofs in the Mississippi heat, I’ve put up trusses in the middle of thunderstorms and I’ve painted in the freezing cold. Each one has its challenges, but I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of good people and have definitely had the pleasure of getting to meet a lot of homeowners that were very deserving,” Chris Partin added.

He said he learned about the trade from working alongside his father as a youth.

“I have big shoes to fill that’s for sure, and I’ve been very lucky to have a dad like Wesley. He’s always been really good, and he’s a real leader,” Chris Partin said.

“When I was 12 or 13, we were doing a blitz build in Tupelo, and my dad came home from work - he was not the construction supervisor at that time - and was going to go out to the job site, so I pulled one of those 12-year-old ‘I wanna go, I wanna go’ and he finally said ‘fine, get in the car’ and we went out there,” Chris Partin said, adding that his first job was helping out with roofing.

“My main goal when it comes to building is that my homeowners and volunteers have a good time, and as long as the house is built in an efficient, sturdy and structurally sound way, then everything else will work out fine.”

The next Habitat for Humanity build in the northeast region will be in Tupelo at the beginning of 2019.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com

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