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

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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