Monthly Archives: March 2016

Alice Smith – City of Chattanooga – Completed

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

dddddAlice Smith always thought you had to have young children in order to apply for Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program. That was until her co-worker at Alexian Brothers Community Services: PACE told her otherwise.
“I had heard about Habitat and saw some advertisements on TV. And I knew President Jimmy Carter was a part of it. One of my brothers also told me I should apply,” said Ms. Alice, as her Habitat Family affectionately calls her. “Then one day my coworker, LaKisha Brown, said she was coming to Habitat to pay her mortgage. She told me I should apply, and that she was bringing me back an application.”

Having rented an apartment in the same complex for more than 20 years, Ms. Alice was a little leery about completing the application. But, she did and was eventually approved by the Habitat Board of Directors.

“I didn’t expect to be selected. I always wanted to own a home, but I didn’t think I could financially,” she said. Ms. Alice had been a lifelong renter since childhood when she lived with her parents and three siblings. “I dreamed about having a home and being able to look out the window in my kitchen. I always wanted a weeping willow in my backyard.”

That weeping willow is well within reach, along with a spacious front porch and flower bed she plans to have at her new home located in The Villages at Alton Park. Yet, this road to homeownership hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses for Ms. Alice. She has managed to juggle a full-time job as a dietary aide (she’s responsible for preparing the desserts); perform more than 300 hundred sweat equity hours; and help regularly care for her elderly mother, who turns 97 in September 2015. “Anything worth having, you’ll make the sacrifice for,” said Ms. Alice, who knows something about sacrifice since she primarily raised her three sons alone after her divorce.

Also a grandmother of four, Ms. Alice confessed she hasn’t always followed through with accomplishing her goals. But working alongside such dedicated volunteers and her much-younger Partner Family peers has inspired her not to give up.
“I’ve started projects and stopped, but this was one thing I was determined to finish,” she said. “I prayed about it and asked the Lord to give me the strength and courage to go through with this until the finish. He has so far, and I know He’ll see me the rest of the way. I have enjoyed the journey.”
And so has Habitat!

“The sweat equity piece is very important. To have input makes you take pride in your home. You have a sense of love and a sense of community. I have enjoyed the journey.”

Funding Provided By:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development,

Andy Berke, Mayor

Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:

Chattanooga Area Volunteers

Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter

DOW Chemicals

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter

The HART Gallery

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks

 

 

Torri Scott – City of Chattanooga – Completed

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

TOri“It was all God!” That’s a phrase Torri Scott uses quite frequently when sharing her testimony. Torri grew up in a loving, single-mother household along with her brother and sister. However, the family lived in numerous rental apartments and homes all over Chattanooga. Then, after graduating high school, Torri seemed to settle down a bit while attending college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She graduated with a degree in business/marketing in 2007 and immediately landed a job in Nashville. Only there for a short time, Torri realized the job just wasn’t a good fit. So, she ended up moving back home to live with her mother the following year. Then three months after returning to the Scenic City, she said one of those “God things” happened and she successfully secured another job.

Over the next few years, life was good. Things got even better in 2012 when Torri got reconnected with church. But by the end of that same year, she discovered she was pregnant. And when Torri was 10 weeks along, the doctors said there was a “great chance” she would miscarry. “Here I was pregnant, then on bed rest (at 24 weeks) and with no income because the job I was working at the time didn’t offer any benefits,” she said. “I had to depend on mom again, but we made it. It was all God!”

Anthony Jr., affectionately called Toney, was born in July 2013. That’s when things really changed. “I’m totally different. I wasn’t too much of a bad girl or a party girl, but I’m more focused on Toney and more closer to God now than I’ve ever been. I take things more seriously now. Everything is about our future.” For awhile, the future looked rather uncertain for Torri and Toney. Two weeks before she was scheduled to return to work from maternity leave, she learned her job assignment was ending. Then, on the last day she was scheduled to clock in, she got a call from a local hospital offering her a new job! Yes, it was all God!

Now a new mom with a new job, Torri began to think even harder about the future. That’s when Habitat for Humanity entered the picture.

What brought me to Habitat was Anthony. I was content living with my mom, but I wanted my son to witness the American Dream and see the importance of owning our own home. I wanted something where we could create memories and to ensure that he has something of his own when I’m no longer on this earth – something for him and his family.”

Not long after being accepted into Habitat’s program, Torri was blessed with yet another job at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Then, you guessed it, another God thing happened! Torri knew a family friend who owned a Habitat home. “I saw that house as a little girl and thought it was so nice, and now I get to experience that,” she said. In fact, Torri felt the Lord led her to a vacant property near this friend’s home that would be the ideal place to raise Toney. As it turns out, Habitat was able to purchase the lot, and the rest is history. “I don’t boast or brag about my story, but I tell my friends they’ve got to have faith,” she said, adding that John 11:40 says it all: Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the Glory of God? Amen

Funding Provided By:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development,

Andy Berke, Mayor

Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:

Chattanooga Area Volunteers

Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter

DOW Chemicals

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter

The HART Gallery

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks

 

Sherri Owens Home – City of Chattanooga – Completed

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

Picture1Sherri Owens knows firsthand the difficulties of being a renter. Rotting floors, tights spaces, difficult landlords, mold, and faulty appliances are all stresses she has to deal with every day while renting. After hearing about Habitat for Humanity through a coworker going through the program., Sherri realized this would be the perfect opportunity for her family to have a warm, safe, dry place that they could call home. Sherri, her teenage sons, Cory and Correll, and her new baby girl, Destinee, are all eager to start a new chapter in their new home without the worries of renting.

Sherri has overcome many hardships life has thrown at her. Instead of being defeated, Sherri said she hopes to use her experiences to show her children that anything is possible if you work hard and have faith. “I want my kids to learn to sacrifice for things, work hard and lean on God when things get tough,” she said. “I hope I can guide them to be successful. Even if they make bad choices, I want them to know they can overcome every obstacle.” Her encouraging words extend into the community, too. Sherri enjoys working with youth in the inner city who are struggling. She loves being hands-on and offering wisdom from her own past struggles. She wants others to find the hope that she has found, adding that Jeremiah 29:11 is a gentle reminder of that hope: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.”

This hope-filled journey to homeownership has been full of new experiences and relationships. “I’ve loved getting to know different people in different walks of life. It feels so good knowing you’re not alone and you’re sharing your dream with everyone in the Habitat family,” she said. And this dream is quickly becoming a reality! Sherri will be moving next door to her cousin, another Habitat homeowner. They’re already making plans for family dinners, cookouts and birthday parties. Sherri’s boys have even proposed a trampoline for the back yard!

Sherri said she’s looking forward to leaving the stresses of renting behind and relishing in the joy of becoming a homeowner. Not only will she       become a first time homeowner, but she’ll be the FIRST woman in her family to own a home!

What a blessing and a testimony Sherri will share that all things truly ARE possible!

Funding Provided By:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development,

Andy Berke, Mayor

Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:

Chattanooga Area Volunteers

Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter

DOW Chemicals

The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter

The HART Gallery

Square D

State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church

Two Men and a Truck

Valspar Paint

Whirlpool Corporation

Yale Locks

 

Jenitha Hodge – Clarence E. Harris Foundation – Completed

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

046“Things aren’t just given to you. You’ve got to work hard for what you want in life.” Jenitha Hodge is a hard-working mother of two sons, Jayden and Jermiah. She aims to teach her sons that great things do not come easy. This is why she decided to dedicate this year to following her dream of becoming a homeowner. Her sister introduced her to Habitat for Humanity after going through the homeownership program and receiving her own home. Jenitha realized this journey to homeownership would not be easy – but very possible!

From the beginning of her partnership with Habitat, Jenitha has worked hard despite all that she has on her plate. “The hardest part about being in the [Habitat homeownership] program is trying to manage everything I have going on: being a single mom, working full time, and getting in all my [sweat equity] hours.” But her determination to give her children a more stable and steady home than what she had growing up has kept her going.
One of Jenitha’s favorite aspects about being in the program is all of the resources she attains. “I love learning and gaining knowledge in all of the Homeowner Education classes and on the construction site. I have learned so much in class, and I’m loving getting to be outdoors and working with my hands on the construction site,” she said. Going through the program has given her that push to acquire more knowledge and go back to school to get her GED! She wants to be a leader for her sons and hopes they will strive to be one, too. “No matter what age you are, you can achieve anything,” she adds enthusiastically.
Her two sons are her driving force. Everything she does, she does for their betterment. She is even looking toward the future to when she is able to pay off her house and pass it on to them. But for now, all Jayden and Jermiah can think about is their new yard big enough for a trampoline!

Funding for Jenitha Hodge’s Home provided by:

The Clarence E. Harris Foundation

Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee/ Tennessee Housing Development Agency

 

 Additional funding, support, services or materials provided by:

Chattanooga Area Volunteers – Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter – DOW Chemicals – The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter – The HART Gallery – Procter & Gamble – Square D – St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church – Two Men and a Truck – Valspar Paint – Whirlpool Corporation – Yale Locks