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January 6, 2020

Home for the Holidays

In mid-December, Our Towns Habitat dedicated four homes for our newest Habitat homeowners. These families join a dozen other families who celebrated their first Christmases in their Habitat homes this year.

Guadalupe Flores

As a single mother supporting two children, Guadalupe Flores relies on her resourcefulness to find every opportunity to provide happiness and stability for her family. This resourcefulness is the reason Guadalupe is about to become a homeowner through Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

One day Guadalupe was chatting with the manager of the apartment complex where she lives with her daughter Brenda, 18, and son Noah, 4. She thought to ask the manager if she knew of any homeownership programs for single mothers like her, who were supporting families with one income. The manager connected her to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity, and although English is her second language and her housekeeping job made many demands on her time, Guadalupe persisted until she was accepted.

And then she continued to persist. She ended up with 720 sweat equity hours, 670 of which were spent on construction sites for her own and others’ Habitat homes. Not only that—she enjoyed the construction work so much that she enrolled in the Forklift/OSHA and construction skills Training program offered by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College.

“Building homes as a volunteer for almost three years with the Habitat program was something I enjoyed doing because I am a strong woman,” says Guadalupe.

That strength is something she’s honed as she has overcome the many challenges of supporting her family on her own. “Being a single mom has turned me into an independent person who knows how to look for opportunities and solve problems.”

D’Nai Heaggans

D’Nai applied to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity because she wanted a better life for her children. The single mother of two has been living in the same apartment for 11 years, in a neighborhood where safety is becoming a concern.

Encouraged to look into the Habitat application by her cousin and a friend who are both Habitat homeowners, D’Nai took the leap and could not be more excited now that her journey to homeownership is nearly complete.

“It was time for a change,” says D’Nai, whose ten-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son have spent their entire lives in the same apartment. “My kids are so tired of being in this apartment.”

While her children are most excited to have a yard to play in, D’Nai is looking forward to family cookouts. “I’m already thinking about what I’m going to make,” laughs D’Nai, whose bubbly personality infuses everything she says with enthusiasm.

Erika Davis

“If there’s a solution, it’s not a problem.” That’s Erika’s motto, and it’s kept her persevering as she overcomes the continual challenges of being a working single mother.

Erika has been living with her mother and her five children, ages 20, 17, 15, 13 and 11, in a three-bedroom apartment. Her two daughters have never had their own room, and have had to share a bed with Erika for years.

The fear of rejection initially kept Erika from applying to Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. “Eventually I knew I owed it to my children and myself to at least apply,” says Erika. After worrying and praying over the results, Erika received an acceptance letter. “As always, God came on his time and on time.”

Now that Erika’s dream of homeownership is becoming a reality, she is most excited about the little things that others might take for granted. “I can finally show my boys how to cut the grass. They will be able to go outside and play. I really want my kids to have a chance to be children.”

Amanda and Derek Moore

When it comes to being homeowners, it’s the little things that Derek and Amanda Moore are most excited about. Their children, 13-year-old Darius and 11-year-old Mahala, love to have cookouts, but it’s something they can’t do in their current apartment.

Amanda can’t wait for the family to have a kitchen table where they can eat meals together. That’s also something they haven’t been able to do in their apartment. Mahala’s dream is to paint her walls in her favorite color, teal.

The biggest improvement will be to Darius’ health. Their current apartment has a mold problem, which leads to chronic problems with Darius’ allergies. “We’re excited to have a safe and stable home,” says Derek, who supports his family through his employment at Walmart.

Working toward their 400 sweat equity hours allowed Amanda and Derek to help build homes for at least four other Habitat families. “We worked in the winter months and the summer months. We experienced it all,” says Amanda. “It was a blessing to be able to work on other people’s homes and see their dreams come true.”

Our Towns Habitat would like to thank all donors, volunteers, faith institutions and corporate partners who made homeownership a reality for these four amazing families.

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