Angel describes herself as different from most members of her family. She’s a bit more reserved, very protective of her small circle of friends, and she’s been told she doesn’t show a lot of emotion. But when it comes to her quest to become a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, a different side of Angel emerges.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself. This (process) has torn me down,” she said as she wiped away tears from her eyes. “I’ve finally made it to something that I always wanted.”
To Angel, true success meant graduating college, getting married, buying a house and then havinga baby. But that wasn’t the way things turned out for her as she had her only child, Nelan, at age 18. Her dream of becoming a medical assistant was put on hold. She quit college, moved into public housing, and landed a job in child care in order to be closer to her son.
“Now that I’m getting my house, I plan to go back to school and maybe get married,” she laughed. “It’s turned around, but at least one of the things I wanted is coming to pass.”
Life has had its share of challenges for Angel, who earned her nickname because she was born close to Christmas. She, her mother and older sister lived in various rental housing until her mother purchased a Habitat home when Angel was in high school.
“Watching my mother raise us as a single mom, and she was able to get a Habitat home, that inspired me. Habitat was more beneficial for me in more ways than I thought. I learned a lot about debt and credit. I’ve learned a lot about patience, too. It also helped me to be more of a ‘people person’ ”
Angel didn’t meet her biological father until right around the time she became a Habitat Partner Family in 2014.
Habitat is one of the bonding opportunities that has helped her and her dad make up for lost time. And when Nelan came along in 2010, Angel was determined to provide a better way of life for her family. She said that driving force, coupled with her faith in God, eventually led her to Habitat. “I did want to give up,” she admits, “but I kept thinking and thinking that this (homeownership) is something I deserve.” And, it will soon be another goal Angel can check off her “success” list!
Funding Provided By:
City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development,
Andy Berke, Mayor
Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee
Tennessee Housing Development Agency