January 15, 2020 | Peter Brown
That’s what we heard above the sound of hammers echoing in the background. As a single father who balances raising kids, working a full-time job and building his Habitat home, Furman Smith offered this thoughtful response while reflecting on his Habitat for Humanity experience. He is a firm believer that true rewards come from challenging journeys – and through 300 hours of Sweat Equity, all while developing a deeper relationship with his Crock-Pot, Furman’s reward is now materializing.
Growing up as a self-described “knuckle-headed” kid in Charlotte, Furman’s participation in the Right Moves for Youth program helped turn his life around. The program also introduced Furman to his mentor and lifelong friend – former Charlotte mayor and North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. Through observing McCrory’s actions – in particular his demeanor while interacting with people who were not “good for him” – Furman learned about composure and handling yourself in a positive way during challenging situations where parties are not always in agreement. He uses that experience to teach and inspire today’s youth by offering “there’s going to be people in your life that you might not like…but they might be the one person to get you where you want to be.”
Future homeowner Furman Smith snipping siding on his house
Site supervisor Carlton assists volunteers in action on Furman’s house
As athletic director and behavioral modification tech for a Charlotte high school, Furman uses his influence and life experience to “save, change and mold young men”, reciprocating what he received from positive role models who impacted him as a youth.
Furman also believes in what is his self-described “Smith Legacy”, which challenges us to leave something of value behind for those who follow us. Furman is proud that his Habitat home will provide a safe, secure environment for his family now, and act as a tangible financial asset for his kids as part of his legacy.
And when Habitat reached out to Governor McCrory about Furman and his new home, the former governor offered this response “Thanks to u for helping him and his family with finally getting a home! Look forward to meeting at his new home. Pat”
On a recent April Saturday morning, under a beautiful Caroline blue sky, Habitat Charlotte and build sponsor St. Gabriel Catholic Church held Furman’s home dedication ceremony. Among the many family members, volunteers and Habitat staff, stood Furman alongside his friend Pat McCrory, beaming ear to ear with pride.
Explore below to learn more about homeownership, volunteering and corporate partnership opportunities with Habitat Charlotte.
Many thanks to St. Gabriel Catholic Church for their generous sponsorship and volunteer support