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.
Kendee and her family are counting down the days until they move into their new house. Kendee admits that building and purchasing her own house in the near future “is what keeps us going.” She, along with her three children and mother, longs for an escape from their cramped quarters. For two years, the family of five has shared a small residence with one bathroom. Modesty is no more, and time management is a struggle, to say the least. Mom, Mamaw, and the youngest daughter share a bedroom.
Anthony and Rebekah found themselves with no place to live. “For the first time in 14 years, we had nowhere to go.” They desired the stability that owning a house would provide. Knoxville Habitat for Humanity is helping them achieve that.
Terrlyn is no stranger to hard work and determination. She has embraced the importance of the good budgeting habits she learned in class. Many of her sweat equity hours were acquired by working, amidst some shopping, in the Thrift Store. She gains inspiration from the other family partners and homeowners and was motivated by a friend, who is a Habitat homeowner, to apply.
Home, for Yakesha, is near her family. Her new house will be built in a subdivision across the street from her childhood home on Skyline Drive. She and her son currently reside with her parents in the home where she grew up, along with her sister and her sister’s child. The cousins, who are one month apart in age and who are now in kindergarten, have been together their entire lives. Yakesha’s hope is that that will always be the case.
Jill is finally returning home. Nearly 25 years since coming to Tennessee as a teenager with two friends from Illinois, she is moving back to east Knoxville. Her life’s journey has taken her to Tennessee, Phoenix, and Louisiana and has given her the opportunity to raise six beautiful children. Jill’s two grown daughters are raising their own families now, but they are in Knoxville and have been supporting their mother throughout her experience with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.
Vanya is a busy single mother with three children. Deajunay is in middle school and plays basketball. Gregory is in high school and plays football. And, Bruce is a student at Middle Tennessee State University. Vanya loves when her son is home from college and the family is together, and she wants them together in a house they call their own.
Richard is embarking on a year of exciting change. He just started a new position with Knox County Schools, for whom he has worked for thirteen years, he begins construction on his new house in March, and he and his fiancée Dorothy are planning a wedding. Richard is excited about the new chapter in his life. “I have learned that it is never too late in life to start something new,” he says. He is currently living with his grandmother and desires a place of his own to share with his bride. He grew up in Knoxville with brothers and sisters.
Charles and Danielle have set their sights on the future. Owning a home was attractive to Charles, who had rented for the past decade of his life, and several things about the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity program appealed to him and his wife, Danielle. They learned how to significantly pay down their debt. They can watch their home built from scratch and contribute to the construction. And, most significantly, they can purchase their house with a zero percent interest loan. They will be able to pay off their mortgage before they retire together in Knoxville.
Eva was living in Knoxville years ago when she applied to Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. She was denied and didn’t give it another thought. Eva moved to Florida to help with her grandchildren while her daughter-in-law was deployed to Kuwait with the Air Force, which was followed by her son’s deployment to Afghanistan. When they relocated to Guam, she moved back to Knoxville, where she desires to call home. While her other two sons still reside in Florida, Eva joined a daughter and two sisters living in Knoxville.
“First and foremost, it’s about being a homeowner,” Ken and Sharon can finally say. The Rouse family knew of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity’s program, but it took them a few years of reading, talking, and praying together before they decided to apply. Dealing with a child’s medical condition, the Rouses weren’t ready to commit immediately. But more than anything, they wanted a place their children could call their own. Ken and Sharon understand the value to their kids’ futures, which includes not only homeownership, but volunteerism, too.