October 2, 2019
New homeowner Perryrease is now able to provide her children a safe, secure place to live, thanks to partnering with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and the State Employees Credit Union (SECU). SECU Foundation is investing up to $10 million to finance a Habitat home in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties through its Habitat Mountains to the Sea Challenge. SECU officials joined Our Towns Habitat volunteers and supporters today to celebrate with Perryrease, as she accepted the keys to her new home.
Perryrease, her daughter Makhia, 14, and son Michael, 13, had been living in a neighborhood where they didn’t feel safe. With sounds of late night arguments and sometimes even gunshots outside her door, Perryrease kept a close eye on her kids. It was a stressful environment.
The rent and shockingly-high power bills on Perryrease’s drafty mobile home were more than she can afford, which created more stress—especially when she couldn’t buy the things her children need.
“When parents are stressed out, it rolls over to the kids, whether we see it or not,” Perryrease said. “When they have a stable home, it makes a difference. They can relax and be comfortable. They can just go and sit out on the porch and not worry about somebody getting into an argument nearby.”
Perryrease knew she needed to give her kids a more stable home life, and that’s what motivated her to buy a home through Our Towns Habitat. When she was accepted into our homeownership program, it was her third time applying. Previously, her income working part-time was not enough to qualify.
But she knew the homeownership program was the path to a better future for her children, so she kept pushing, eventually getting full-time status at her job. “I didn’t quit, I didn’t stop, I didn’t give up,” Perryrease told us. “I kept going, I kept trying and I kept applying.”
Earning her 400 sweat equity hours as a working single mom was challenging, but Perryrease enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things. After working to help build homes for other Habitat partners, she would go home at the end of the day feeling tired but accomplished.
She is also proud of the example she set for her kids. While they weren’t quite old enough to volunteer on the build site, they helped her earn hours by maintaining good grades. She hopes they will remember the lesson of helping other people.
“Hopefully, they see what I did, and when they are older, they will want to volunteer and help someone else—not to get anything out of it, but just to help someone else,” Perryrease said.
Her hope for her children captures what Habitat is all about—bringing people together to help each other and show God’s love.
SECU is partnering with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across North Carolina