Homeownership is a big part of The American Dream. At Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, we are a proud partner with individuals and families who are living in substandard housing conditions who want a safe and comfortable place to call home.
Jonisha embraces the responsibilities of adulthood and has high expectations for her future.
At 24, she is buying her own house. “I want a place that I can grow into and start a family.” She is inspired by her own family. Her mom raised her and her two brothers by herself. While they always had what they needed, Jonisha clarifies that that differs from having everything you want. “I learned how to prioritize.”
Dia and her daughter received the mortgage coupons and the keys to their new home built in partnership with the Church of the Good Samaritan and Sword & Shield! Dia is an independent, young single mother. While she is on her own, she is grateful for her strong support system. She loves her hometown of Knoxville and built her house near her parents’ house, where she grew up, just down the road from her grandmother’s house, and around the corner from her brother.
Stephanie Tipton is ready for the responsibility of being a homeowner.
She currently shares a home with her two children, Alex and Brandon, her mother, and her cousin Chantel, who her mother accepted guardianship of when she was a little girl. Stephanie realizes the need for space now that her children are 19 and 22 and Chantel is 15.
Habitat Urban Garden (HUG) volunteers and Knoxville Habitat for Humanity homeowners celebrated the 200th home landscaping project with the most recent class of participants.
Shantay has transformed her life and deserves to be proud. She has overcome many obstacles to create better childhoods for her four children than she had to endure. Part of her plan is buying a house. “It will be our home. My family will always have a place to go…forever.”
Refugees Bya, Lupa, and their young daughter were greeted at the Knoxville airport in 2009 by an accepting, helpful group from Cedar Spring Presbyterian Church. Forced to escape to an unfamiliar foreign country, they were welcomed to a safe apartment with a furnished pantry and with a warm, culturally appropriate meal. They immediately felt blessed and motivated to succeed. Bya met Lupa while working in a restaurant in Malaysia. They married and started their family, which has grown to five with the addition of two sons since living in the United States.
Freedom has many meanings for Nuam’s family. Nuam fled to the United States as a refugee after escaping government oppression in her native country. For Nuam, freedom is the opportunity to have a job and earn money. She started her new life with employment in the United States assisted by refugee services and Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church.
Contrary to the isolation refugees experience, a sense of community is a welcome, meaningful aspect of relocating to Knoxville that Kwal and his family greatly appreciates. Kwal values the community provided by the local Burmese ministry; the community offered by their friends at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, Temple Baptist Church, and Washington Pike Methodist Church; and the community they will experience in the Silver Leaf subdivision among other Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
Marissa refused to become a statistic. She recalls her feelings when 1 month shy of turning 17, she became a mother. Marissa graduated from high school early and maintained two part time jobs to support her family. She is now 21 years old and a full time employee at UT Medical Center. She is the mother of four year old Brylon and preparing to purchase her first house. What is her motivation? A supportive family, her faith in God, and a desire to ensure that her son has a stable, safe environment in which to thrive.