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.
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.
Pau and Niang left Burma in pursuit of safety and a better life for his family of 6. After languishing in a harsh refugee camp in the neighboring country for years, he is thankful to have resettled in the United States in 2009. After suffering years of family separation, he was able to bring his wife and four children to the United States in 2010. The family was offered a warm welcome and support by many volunteers from Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, and their four children participated in the 2010 and 2011 summer ESL Camps, making amazing progress.
Anne is adaptive and ambitious, once homeless but never hopeless. She credits the support of some influential people in her life, she utilized resources that have set her up for success, and she is doing all the work. A graduate of and contributing mentor in the Teen Challenge program, Anne is a participant in A Hand Up for Women in an effort to maintain her sobriety, self-sufficiency, and self worth.