Monthly Archives: August 2016

Angel – City of Chattanooga – HFH of TN – THDA – Complete

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

IMG_5844Angel 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

 

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

Latoya – City of Chattanooga – HFH of TN – THDA- Completed

By | Builds, Complete | No Comments

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Sometimes our pain can give us purpose. Just ask LaToya.  In 2011, she started a new job and also a new lease on life as a wife! She met her husband through a relative after having been single for quite a while. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever find love, but then it happened. She became a bride. She also became pregnant.  And when she was seven months along with her second son, Terrance, something life-changing happened. Her husband went to prison.

“He got out when Terrance was three. He was killed seven months later on Terrance’s fourth birthday,” she said. “But within those seven months, they bonded. He knows his dad. He remembers his dad, and I don’t think he’ll ever forget him.”

While LaToya has experienced the unimaginable pain of having a loved one die in such a horrific way, she has also found her purpose: to become a homeowner. She is determined to provide the best life possible for Terrance and her oldest son, JaTorrey.

LaToya grew up in a loving home with her mother, twin sister and two younger brothers. The family lived in various rental properties in Alton Park. She and her twin regularly visited their father on the weekends. They remain a close-knit family today. Yet, there is one goal none of those closest to LaToya has ever achieved. “No one in my immediate family is a homeowner. I wanted to change that,” she said.

Another Habitat Partner named Sherri encouraged her to apply for the program. LaToya said her most rewarding experience thus far has been the various resources and relationships she’s discovered – including meeting her Habitat “Buddy,” Jennifer Whitaker. Jennifer serves on Habitat’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the Family Support Committee. This Committee has a “Buddy” system where Committee members are paired with Partner Families as another layer of support as they navigate their way toward homeownership. Jennifer also experienced the sudden passing of a loved one, and referred LaToya to an agency where her family could receive grief counseling. “Without her, I would have never gone that route,” she said. “I really appreciate the program for having me come in contact with her.”

Both of LaToya’s sons are thriving. JaTorrey is an Honor Roll student, member of the Student Council and plays several sports. He even portrayed President Barack Obama in his school’s Black History program. Terrance is finding his way as well. He is in preschool now, and LaToya thinks he will soon     follow in his big brother’s footsteps when it comes to athletics. The entire family is excited about moving into their new Habitat home before the end of 2016. Their house will be located on the up-and-coming Southside – not too far from the community where LaToya has lived most of her life.

“It’s something I can call my own,” she said of her future home. “I won’t have to share a foundation or a wall with a neighbor. Me and my kids will be able to have our own space. That’s what I’m looking forward to!”

Funding Provided By:

City of Chattanooga, Office of Economic and Community Development,

Andy Berke, Mayor

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

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