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Lameikia’s Habitat home is her “spring”–a new beginning

Lameikia and her family are escaping overcrowded conditions with their new Habitat home, which they built in partnership with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s.

She has been sharing her late grandmother’s three-bedroom home with five other adults. Now, she and her daughter, Hazel, a senior at Hough High, and her son C.J. will each have their own bedroom in their new Habitat home.

Lameikia’s home is the first Habitat house completed as part of the Charlotte Impact Project, a joint initiative of Lowe’s, Our Towns Habitat and Habitat Charlotte. Last November, Lowe’s announced a pledge of $1 million to complete construction of 10 new homes and 10 critical repair projects, along with three Women Build events and eight home preservation projects.

Lameikia’s path has never been an easy one. The oldest of five, she faced a difficult home life as a child, and eventually was raised by her grandparents. She took on the role of “mom” for her siblings, and then became a mom to her first child, Kita, before she graduated high school.

She moved out on her own at 19, then later ended up in an unhealthy marriage. Her husband never worked, so they struggled financially.

As Lameikia frames it, she jumped directly from childhood into the “real world.” She works as the front desk manager at Days Inn, where she has been for 11 years. Now, she hopes having stable, affordable housing will allow her to focus on going back to school and getting a degree.

“Habitat is not just affordable housing, but a new beginning,” says future homeowner Lameikia. “I feel like my new house is my spring—it’s a re-birth, and it is where I am meant to be.”

To qualify for Our Towns Habitat’s homeownership program, Brice had to meet income requirements, commit to paying an affordable mortgage and serve 400 “sweat equity” hours. She earned her sweat equity hours by completing homeowner education classes, volunteering in the Habitat ReStore, helping build other Habitat homes, and, finally, working on this house behind us.

Lameikia enjoyed this volunteer service, as she got to meet many different people and see the impact of helping her soon-to-be new neighbors have affordable housing. But when she was finally able to work on her own home, everything was different.

Since her children are older, they were also able to help with the home’s construction. C.J. remembers the pride he felt when he conquered his fears to work on the roof. Hazel says helping build her own home has given her a sense of accomplishment.

“It was exciting working on everybody else’s home, but the feeling of working on your own home—watching them pour the foundation and seeing it go from the ground up—it’s special,” Brice said

A sneak peak at the new Statesville ReStore

Several Our Towns Habitat staff recently toured the new Statesville ReStore and office space to get a look at renovation progress, so we took some photos to give you a bit of a sneak peak too!

Our new space will feature an 8,000-square foot sales floor, along with 5,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. The store will also have separate areas for donation drop off and pickup of large purchases, making it easier for donors and customers to get in and out quickly.

The office space will allow Our Towns Habitat to better serve homeowner and repair clients in the Statesville area, with office hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A conference room will provide space for board, committee and other meetings. Our Cornelius office location will continue to be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The new Statesville ReStore and Our Towns Habitat offices are located in the B-Lo shopping center at 1893 E. Broad Street, next to Planet Fitness. The store is expected to open in early spring.

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Na’stassia looking forward to warming up in new home

It’s often the little things that we take most for granted. During this recent cold snap, most of us didn’t give much thought to bumping the thermostat up a degree or two if we were feeling chilled.

For our new homeowner Na’stassia, controlling the temperature of her house is a luxury that she is looking forward to. Na’stasssia has been living in a public housing with her son, Akayo, and daughter, Lyric. The building manager controls the heat and air for the entire complex, and it always runs cold, especially with drafty windows. Since Na’stassia is anemic, the cold is hard for her to tolerate.

In this new home, not only can Na’stassia control the heat, she won’t have to worry about sky-high utility bills. This home she helped build is energy efficient—no more drafty windows!

In their current neighborhood, Na’stassia and her children also have safety concerns, with high crime levels nearby. Here, Akayo and Lyric are looking forward to playing outside in a safe neighborhood with lots of other children.

Na’stassia’s journey to build a home for her family hasn’t been easy. Once construction started on her home, she had to switch to working 12-hour shifts at her Certified Nursing Assistant job with Heritage Place Assisted Living, so she could have Saturdays free to build. Those Saturday builds also meant missing a lot of Akayo and Lyric’s sporting events. Akayo plays football, basketball and baseball, while Lyric plays volleyball, basketball and softball.

Na’stassia says those temporary sacrifices will be worth it to improve her family’s situation.

“It’s like a weight off my shoulders,” she said.

Her favorite part of the construction process was framing day, when she got to watch the wall of her home be built and raised. She tells us she also enjoyed volunteering on other Habitat homes.

“It’s been great to help other people and celebrate with other homeowners,” she said.

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