The year 2017 is bound to be a special one for LaToya. The single mother of two sons and a daughter is looking forward to becoming the first person in her immediate family to experience homeownership. She’s also looking forward to earning her GED this year. “If I can get this house and walk across that stage (to graduate), this will be a very blessed year for me,” she said.
Describing herself as a very independent woman, LaToya said she does whatever it takes to see that the needs of her children- Abram, LaTaivus and Jade – are always met. She first became a mother at age 18, which is also when she moved out of her parents’ house. She settled into an apartment at a local public housing development. After the birth of her second son, she moved back in with her folks for awhile but eventually ventured out on her own again. LaToya was later accepted into the federally funded Section 8 rental housing program. Through Section 8, she has mainly lived in rental homes in the East Lake area that have not always been well-maintained. LaToya said her current house is poorly insulated, and she’s seen her share of sky-high electric bills. So, she’s excited about purchasing an energy-efficient house that will allow her to keep more money in her pockets. Her Habitat home is being sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities, a first for the local grocery chain.
I’m also looking forward to the kids having their own rooms, and not having to worry about my rent going up and down,” she said, as rent for Section 8 clients can fluctuate based on changes in income and other factors. LaToya, who has worked at Kenco Logistics for about a decade, heard about Habitat from a persistent co-worker whose sister had purchased a home. “She pushed me for almost five years to apply,” she laughed. “It was just going in one ear and out the other.” But LaToya said she’s glad she decided to give Habitat a try. “I’ve enjoyed experiencing new things and getting to know new people,” she said – especially the volunteers. “People you don’t even know, from different walks of life, giving their time. They don’t have to do that, but they do.” And, it’s largely because of the generosity of others that this homeownership ministry continues to thrive!
Funding Provided By:
Publix Super Markets Charities
Additional funding, support, Services or Materials provided by:
Chattanooga Area Volunteers
Daughters of the American Revolution, Chief John Ross Chapter
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America, Chattanooga Chapter
The HART Gallery
State Farm Insurance -Hamilton Co. Agents
St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church
Two Men and a Truck