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.
Anthony and Tammy never envisioned themselves as avid DIY network viewers, but their television is tuned in often. With the help of Habitat, they have transformed into confident homeowners eager to build their house. The Toms family was led to Habitat by a best friend who is also a Habitat homeowner. She encouraged them to apply, and while they talked about it, it was years before Anthony and Tammy did. Why? They thought it would be harder than it is. They were intimidated by the approval process. But, they were also tired of paying rent. Advice?
Haider Hmood, his wife Shetha Jassim, and their four children, are from Iraq. Their journey to the United States, which included time in Syria where their youngest child was born, landed them in East Tennessee, a location Haider selected for numerous reasons. “Knoxville is a great place to raise a family.” He described the moderate weather and the affordable living expenses compared to other cities.
Nikia has aspirations. But, it hasn’t been an easy road. At times, she has worked twelve hour shifts at the hospital while maintaining the schedules of two school-age children. But at the young age of 33, she is well on her way to paying off her debt and owning her own home.
Brennan moved into his new home built with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity this summer with his parents, two siblings, and his cat Nessie. While helping to build his house, with the support of the Episcopal Churches of Knox County, he also documented the build and produced a video that magically captures the week-long process in less than four minutes. Brennan, 20, is currently studying video production in college and is enrolled alongside his mother who is also pursuing her degree.
Tamika doesn’t complain about what she does not have, but instead takes every opportunity to thank God for what she does have. She wants others to experience what she was able to experience through Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. Celebrating four years in the house built with Habitat, she reflects on how far she and her four children have come, “This house is 1,496 square feet full of blessings.”
Melanie Bradley, the mother of three, has some good advice for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity applicants and participants. “Take advantage of all that is available to you!” Melanie enthusiastically affirms that she has learned something valuable through every experience with Habitat. The open line of communication with staff has been invaluable. Helping others build their homes has been meaningful. And, the classes offered have been crucial.
Pregnant with their first baby, Greg and Alisa Compton wanted to buy a house. They had both grown up in houses, but in their ten years together, Greg and Alisa had lived in apartments and townhouses. Their professions required them to reside in many states, but, inspired by a drive through East Tennessee, they landed in Knoxville. A coworker of Greg’s had purchased a Habitat house and encouraged them to inquire, so they applied online and awaited a response.
Maurice and Brandi Smith turned what could have been interpreted as a negative situation into a positive one! Like other casualties of a weak economy, Maurice was laid off by an employer for whom he had worked for 16 years. He was eventually asked to return to his job but at a lower pay rate.
Tawanna has known about Knoxville Habitat for Humanity for a while now. In fact, she had applied twice before but did not qualify. Potential homeowners must meet three requirements to qualify for the program: a need for housing, the ability to pay, and a willingness to partner with Habitat to contribute 500 sweat equity hours. At the time, Tawanna had less than perfect credit and was in debt due to medical bills and student loans.