ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – A follow-up to a story we first brought you Monday night regarding the ongoing investigation of Limestone County’s Habitat for Humanity program. The unintentional fall-out of that investigation lands on the local mental health foundation and their efforts to build a new live-in facility, or group home, for their patients. WHNT News 19 learns the investigation will slow the project, but officials say it will move forward.
Bill Giguere says he’s known about the investigation of Habitat for Humanity for some time. He had partnered with the organization to help build a new live-in group facility for those with serious mental challenges.
“What this has done is this really has forced us to consider our options. And right now we have spoken to a private builder/contractor . We have been in talks, they are working up cost projections for us right now,” Giguere tells WHNT News 19. He declined to name the contractor because nothing has been finalized.
Habitat for Humanity was the planned contractor on the project, but the ongoing investigation into their finances puts those plans in limbo. Giguere says with the declining number of beds available for those with mental issues, waiting is not an option.
“We’ve already identified several grant funders who are aware of the situation and they are still interested in helping us with this project. So as far as we’re concerned right now, the project has been delayed but it’s still a go.” Giguere says with a little luck and a lot of help, they may still be able to break ground on the project in Athens later this year.
The group home will accommodate nine live-in patients, and is expected to cost just over $200,000. It would be located on Elm Street in Athens.
Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson and Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones both confirm the ongoing investigation into the possible misappropriation of funds within the Limestone County Habitat for Humanity program.