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.
Joey grew up in the Lonsdale Homes housing development. He recalls being in and out of trouble through his teen years and even serving time in prison after graduating from high school. Upon his release from prison, Joey dedicated himself to building a better life for his family, and he succeeded. Today he gives all the credit to God saying, “God gave me another chance.” Grateful, he encourages other young men like himself to stay out of trouble and to take steps to build better lives for themselves.
South Knoxville is home for Omjoma and her four children. She moved to the United States from Sudan in 2007 to escape the fighting occurring in her native country. She called Montgomery Village home initially and now rents an apartment in Vestal. But, Omjoma and her children have outgrown their current space. They look forward to building a five bedroom house with the support of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Art and Doris Grayson and The Grayson Family of Dealerships.
Tierra is an independent, ambitious, creative young woman with a plan for her future. She has been on her own since the age of 18, and she realized one day that the nearly $40,000 she had spent in her lifetime in rent would have made a significant investment in a house. So, she submitted an application to Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. Tierra envisions a path of success for herself and her future family, the next step of which is the purchase of her first house at the age of 27.
Treva believes in the importance of investing. She is investing in her own house through Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. She is investing in her health with a commitment to exercise and with the encouragement of her friends. And, she is investing in the future of her family. Treva’s daughter Adasia is attending Austen Peay, and her son Desaun is enrolled at Pellissippi State Community College. Her children eagerly anticipate moving to their new home, which brings with it the opportunity for them to create spaces to call their own.
Keivee and Shamika have a busy family. With one daughter entering the tenth grade at Fulton High School and preparing for college and one daughter starting the seventh grade at Bearden Middle School, there is a lot going on in their household. Shamika works for Aramark on the University of Tennessee’s campus, and Keivee, while attending class currently to earn his GED, is employed by Camping World in Knoxville. Both Keivee and Shamika are from Knoxville, and their parents attended school together.
Jennifer is an enthusiastic, independent single mother with an exciting year ahead of her. She is building her new house this summer, and her 5 year old son, Javon, starts kindergarten in the fall. Jennifer and her son are currently renting in Seymour. “I want to give Javon a new home. I have never had the opportunity to live in a new house.” She searched for a house to purchase but was discouraged by the few options available for a single parent on a limited income. She didn’t have the means to buy and renovate or repair a house.
Eliam and Tarlease have high expectations for their family. They are ready to introduce their three young children to a different atmosphere. After 3 ½ years in their current apartment, they will build their house with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity in June.
Eliam says, “I experienced challenges in my life that I want my kids to be able to avoid.” Since their introduction to Habitat for Humanity, Eliam and Tarlease have developed a different vision for their futures and understand what setting goals can accomplish.
Renee is Grammy to everyone, and while she professes that her children are her motivation, there is no doubt that she provides the inspiration to her immediate and extended family. In addition to raising her four children, two of whom have their own children, she welcomed four young people in need of a safe, caring place to call home into her family by adopting them. A true nurturer, Renee currently cares for her teenage son and daughter who live with her; her 12 year old grandson, of whom she has legal custody; and her brother Ronald.
Growing up with only brothers, young Renee’ welcomed the companionship, and intervention, of her soul sister and mentor Sheryl “Sissy” Milan. “She hung in there with me,” Renee’ says of Sissy then and now, more than thirty years later. Read more.