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Meet the Families

Included are letter and stories direct from that Habitat for Humanity families. These were written when they were accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program.

Kristie and family

My name is Kristie. I’m a full-time working single mother of 4 wonderful children who are my life. My oldest son, Ty, is 9 years old. He loves to collect rocks and dinosaurs. Ty is especially close to his 8 year old brother Seth. Seth loves cars and wants to have a vintage or classic car when he gets older. Seth also loves to read chapter books.  Ty and Seth are in the Natchaug River Young Marines. Ian is my 7 year old who is very adventurous and outgoing. He is full of stories and ideas that are never ending. He loves to be outdoors and is always on the go. My youngest child is Maple who is 5 years old. She is a sweet, amazing little lady. She loves babies and has such a nurturing heart. All of my children are very helpful and loving. I’ve been blessed with these four amazing children!

I have been employed at Matty’s Trucking Inc. as the office manager for 3 years. When I first came to work here, I was out of my element, leaving the medical field, but quickly learned the tasks and have never looked back. I love my job and look forward to working every day. Because of this job, I have become a stronger person who is able to handle and juggle so many tasks and challenges. I look forward to many more years working with this company.

I received an email from my children’s school informing me that Habitat for Humanity was looking for future homeowners. I went to the meeting to learn more and I chose to apply. I was beside myself when I received a call from Habitat from Humanity saying that I was accepted into the program. My children were thrilled.

Our rental home has had numerous problems and is in need of repair. We have had issues with the windows not latching and falling on their own. We are limited to which windows we can open. I ripped out numerous carpets that had years of mess and filth in them. There are uneven floors upstairs and problems with the faucets. The cracks on the wall and the ceiling are getting bigger. I took all the bedroom doors down as they were so damaged. You had to lift up on them to shut them. They were also splintering and it was not safe. There is little cabinet space in the kitchen and limited storage space for food, forcing us to use other areas to store our food. The water pressure is altered by our neighbors. The water in the home is also not safe to drink.

We have overcome so much together as a family and we are very close. My goal has always been to own my own home, so I may pass it down to my children, and they will have the safety and comfort knowing that this is our home and we will never be uprooted. This will be our final move, into a home I have helped to build; a home I was able to learn how to maintain and take great pride in. This has been a very rewarding experience and I look forward to learning and growing during the process of building our Habitat home.

The benefit of Habitat is not only the hand up that I was given, but the opportunity to help out so many others. I’ll continue to be a part of Habitat for Humanity even after our home is built. I want to instill in my children the feeling you get when you’ve helped someone in need. Years from now when my children become of age to volunteer, we will make our own team and continue to help out in any way we can.

Limaris, Valdemar and family

My name is Limaris. I am currently learning English at New London Adult Education while staying at home with our newborn, Jeraliz. My husband, Valdemar, works as a driver at Arrow Paper Company.

We have been married for thirteen years, and we are both natives of Puerto Rico. We decided to move to the United States, because my son, Josada, did not receive the necessary help needed for his autism in Puerto Rico. We also believed we would find better education for him and our daughter, Liz, as well as better health care, and economic opportunities in the United States, so the day came for us to leave our loved ones behind.

On August 17, 2013, we arrived in New London to find a better future for our family and new job opportunities. At first, we thought that we could not achieve all of this. However, with the help of God and the important people in our lives, we believe we can.  In the future, I hope to become a nurse, and my husband would like to obtain a better position at Arrow Paper Company. 

The neighborhood we currently live in is incredibly unsafe. The apartment is lacking privacy. The neighbors are able to look in the windows easily, and people look in the bedroom windows often. Teenagers hang around outside doing all types of drugs. We have very noisy neighbors that wake up our infant, day and night. We feel it is unsafe to use the common areas like the laundry and hallways. We would like a home that will be safe for our family.

We hope to achieve all of our dreams and to give our children stability. We always dreamed of owning our own home. When I learned about Habitat for Humanity, our dreams became possible. Although we speak little English, Habitat found a way for us to communicate. Now we are on our way to becoming Habitat homeowners.

 

Shea and family

My name is Brandishea (Shea). I’m a full-time working single mother of 2 wonderful children whom I love dearly. My daughter, Shya, is 9 years old. She loves to read books and is developing into a great poet. We also just found out that she was accepted into a school program that was designed for gifted and talented students who are mature enough to handle their school work at a higher level. Shya will be in the 5th grade this September and will be completing 6th grade work. My son, TuQuan, is 2 years old, he has a tremendous amount of energy and loves music. My daughter and son have an unforgettable and loving bond. I have been working at Dime Bank for 4 years and I am a Commercial Servicing Representative. I also attend New England College of Business with a majoring Business Administration with concentration in Banking and Finance. I graduated with my Associates Degree in April of 2014 and I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree program. My career goals are to become a Commercial Loan Officer.

For about a year now I have been preparing myself to become a homebuyer. After my children and I were dealing with mold, dust, unsafe areas and moving from apartment to apartment I decided to apply for Habitat for Humanity. My son was constantly getting sick due to the mold that was everywhere in our previous apartment. So, we had to move in with my parents and 2 sisters and a brother. That is a total of 8 people living in the household. Our space is very limited. I have to share a room with my son, and my daughter shares a room with my sister, her aunt. My mom works 3rd shift at the hospital, and my son is unable to run around freely because she has to sleep for work. My family and I are very strong. We can make it out of any tough situation with God by our side. My oldest daughter has been very patient and has always looked up to me for guidance. We are a Christian family who love God and believe that nothing is impossible.

This was my second time to apply. The first time I had decided to work on my credit so I could be more financially stable. Not long after doing my full application, I received a phone call for a home visit. About 2 weeks after that I received a phone call stating that I was chosen to receive a Habitat house; I screamed loudly with joy and thanked Habitat and, of course, God, for making this happen for us. For a long time I struggled with trying to make sure my children were safe and had a place where they can call home. I am so thankful and excited to start our new journey and that my children will have a place to grow and make unforgettable memories to look back on. I am excited to be involved with such a terrific organization as well as a great and blessed group of people. I love the fact that I will be a part of helping other families with their dreams of becoming home owners as well.  We are truly blessed!

Jessica and family

My name is Jessica, and I am the proud mother of three children.  Brooke is 18 years old and is two years into her studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. Due to our current circumstances, she is living in her own studio apartment in Oklahoma, while also working full time with State Farm Insurance.  Madison is 16 years old and will be a senior this year. She enjoys reading, drawing, and spending time with her new friends.  Tyler is 13 years old and going into 8th grade. He loves his cat, Bella, his iPad and the art department at school where he creates unique artwork each day. Tyler is also autistic; he sees the world and relationships within it in his own way.

While visiting my sister here in Connecticut in 2015, my husband not only told me he wanted to end our 10 year marriage, but he had already packed my clothes, my children’s entire rooms, and was driving them up in a U-haul the following day.  As a stay at home mom since 2008, this left me without a home, a job, or any future security for my children.

I come from a very small family, so my sister and her husband were the only people who could take us in. Brooke decided to stay in Oklahoma to continue with college and stayed with her step dad until the dorms became available. Madison and Tyler were forced come to terms with never going “home", and this being our new house. I was desperately trying to figure out a career plan while trying to assure all three children that we were going to be O.K. 

In July I took the CNA course in Connecticut, as serving others is a genuine passion of mine. My sister and her husband financed the class, and within two months, I enrolled my children in the local schools, completed my course, and found a full time job. While we started figuring out how to make 7 people and 8 pets work in a three bedroom, one bathroom home, I had the additional task of trying to get my son to adapt to the rules and routines of someone else’s home. Due to the overcrowded living conditions, I sleep on the enclosed porch and recently Tyler has joined me out there. There is no privacy and because this is also the front entrance, there is constant foot traffic and noise from people and dogs coming in and out. 

When our school sent home flyers about Habitat for Humanity’s Homeowner information meeting, I was interested, but didn’t really know if I wanted to set myself up for what could be another let down in our lives. I decided at the last minute to go to the meeting, and during the information session, I became more and more confident that this could be the security my family needed after so much insecurity.

Having a house of our own means security for my children and a place they can call home. Brooke doesn’t get to visit often, and doesn’t have a place to stay comfortably when she’s here. Our own forever home means someplace to enjoy fellowship with friends, host holiday gatherings, spend evenings playing games as a family, and create a sanctuary where we are all safe and secure together. After being accepted into the Habitat Homeowners family, we now have a beacon of light keeping us moving forward and an end in sight to our current situation. God has taught me so much about my own strength and His promises through this past year, and I can’t wait to see how He uses me in our new neighborhood. I’m thankful for God’s comfort, and Habitat’s continued dedication to helping families like mine reach their dream of home ownership.

Jeannette and family

My name is Jeannette. My fiancé Tony and I have two beautiful children Isabella and Myles. This year has been one filled with many changes for my family. Among those changes has been Tony’s daughter Jamia coming to live with us when she became pregnant. The six of us live in a small two bedroom apartment on a very busy road. As you can see space is very limited for us, especially for two adults, a fifteen year old, five year old, 10 month old and a two month old.

Considering our current situation I was very interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity when my daughter brought home a flyer from school. I saw it as a great opportunity to better my family’s current living situation and create more stability for the six of us.

I am extremely grateful and overjoyed to have been chosen to be a part of the Habitat family. I am very excited for my family to begin this journey to building and owning our own home where my children can grow.

 

Rosa and family

I am Rosa, mother of a 19 year old, named Enrique and an 11 year old girl named Lesly. We are a small but strong family. We moved to Connecticut in 2003 from Puerto Rico looking for a better health treatment for my daughter. Thankfully it has been the best decision I have ever made for us.

My son graduated from high school in 2014. He is an Auto Zone employee at the moment. He loves basketball, video games and spending time with his girlfriend. My daughter will start middle school this year as she goes on to seventh grade at Kelly Middle School. She loves music, art, physical therapy and school. I am currently working at UCFS at the Norwich Health Center since 2012. I started there as a Medical Record Clerk, then went on to Dental Intake Specialist and I will start as a Dental Care Manager next month. I love my job and what I do. It has allowed me to help others and helped me grow, not only professionally but as a person. My little family means the world to me. I love music, art and greatly enjoy reading and learning new things. I feel very blessed and grateful for all the things we’ve achieved as a family so far.

I found out about the Habitat organization through a flyer I had seen in the newspaper, and I was curious enough to go to the meeting. I was surprised when I learned about how Habitat works, and how this great organization helps families to own their own home. I find it amazing how even families with low credit score or low income can still participate and be a part of all this. I like the convenience of a mortgage without interest and little down payment for those who cannot afford much more. At that moment I thought, “This is my chance to own a house for my family”.

Having a Habitat house will make our life better. The energy efficiency is one of the biggest problems in the house that I rent, old windows and doors make the cost of the heating (oil) too high. Habitat houses are constructed with good energy efficiency. Our family was approved for a Habitat house and for us, this is a dream come true. It will be rewarding for me to know that I will be paying for our own house, for our family, for our home.

 

Kathee and family

My name is Kathee. I am a hardworking mother of a six year old boy named Julius. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to own my own home due to Habitat for Humanity. I heard about Habitat for Humanity from one of my friends and I decided to give them a call so they can send me a paper stating when and where there next meeting will be held. I went to the meeting and filled out the application they gave me and sent it in. Not too long after that I received a phone call saying they wanted to come and look at my apartment and they did. Soon after that I received the phone call saying I was approved for a house. I was so happy I could not believe it.

My son and I have been living in low income housing for most of our lives. Where you have to depend on someone to fix things you need fixed in your apartment. They tell you what you can do in and around your apartment and the living environment is not that safe.

We are so thankful to say that soon we will have a home that we can call our own. My son has always wanted a dog but we were never allowed to have one in the apartments that we have lived in. But now that we will be owning our own home soon we will be able to have one. Thanks to GOD and Habitat for Humanity anything is possible!

Linsey and Family

My name is Linsey. I'm the mother of two incredible young men named Daron and Devin. I work third shift providing personal care to a gentleman that has a traumatic brain injury. I also work as an on-call employee, providing care to adults with developmental delays. I attend Quinebaug Valley Community College part time. I'm working on my Associates degree in Human Services.

I work very hard to provide for my children, they are my world. Daron is 16 years old and attends Ellis Technical School's electrical program. He's an excellent student, loves sports, and is always willing to help others out. He's my rock. Devin is 13 years old and attends Putnam Middle School. He loves music and plays in the school band. He also enjoys reading and volunteers setting up for the lunch program at Putnam Library. In addition to my two biological children, I also foster a young boy. He is 8 years old and so full of life. He plays on the soccer and basketball team. I have been a therapeutic foster parent through Waterford Country School for over four years now. Prior to that my family lived in Rhode Island and fostered children through an agency called Mentor.

Being a single mother of three boys is not easy but thankfully I have the love and support of my mom, Paula. She's been living with us for the last few years due to some health problems and has proven to be as much help to me as I am to her.

With a family of five, I was unable to find an apartment that contains enough bedrooms and space for us all to be comfortable. I ended up having to rent both floors of a two family home. This as proven to be very costly. I pay a monthly rent along with two electric bills and two gas bills. My living conditions were not perfect; there's extensive mold in the basement, doors and windows in need of repair and a bulkhead that provided access for animals to get into the basement. With the undesirable living conditions, bills and high rent cost, I've had trouble making ends meet. I wanted desperately to save money to buy a home I could call my own.

I saw an ad posted in the Bargain Buyer about an upcoming informational session that explained how Habitat for Humanity worked, I decided to attend. At the time I did not realize my decision to attend this meeting would change my life in such a positive way. I filled out applications, sent in paperwork, and had a home visit, the further along that I got in the process the more excited I became. The day I received the phone call letting me know my family and I had been chosen to become a Habitat for Humanity family I was overjoyed with excitement. The great thing about Habitat for Humanity is it's an organization that not only helps people find suitable housing, but also shows that there are good honest people who are willing to donate their time and sweat to help others. I'm proud to be able to be part of that. 

This is an amazing opportunity for my family and I; we are honored.

Housing before Habitat -

   

One of the rotton support beams

Moldy, inoperable windows

Yahaira, Josue and family

My name is Yahaira Gonzalez and my husband is Josue Rosado. I am a mother of five children. My first child is Eunice -14 yrs. old, my second oldest is Denice - 12 yrs. old, and my last three children are; Joshua- 9 yrs., Elizabeth-6 yrs., and Joseph Luis-1 yr. My husband is currently employed at New London Housing Authority. I am a stay-at-home mom, planning to pursue my dream of becoming a social worker.

I was born in Puerto Rico, but raised in Mass.  Josue was born in Puerto Rico, but raised in New York City. As children, we struggled. We both had dreams to graduate college and work on our dream career, but life was too harsh and took us through a different path. We met and fell in love young. I had my first child at the age of 19. I was living with his parents and we struggled along the way. Our path led us to New London. As time passed by and our family grew bigger, we were accepted to live in New London Housing, where my husband decided to work.  My family and I started visiting church and little by little things started to change for the better. As a firm believer of Jesus we knew that blessings were on the way.

Our dream was always to become a home owner. My children, husband and I never gave up hope that we would soon have a house to call our own.  Soon after this I heard about the program, Habitat for Humanity. I decided to give it a try. I never lost hope that this would be the blessing we were all waiting for. I went to the class in Norwich and applied. When we received our second application everyone was very excited. Months passed by and we waited patiently never losing hope. The phone rang one day and we received the call that we got the house; tears of joy filled my eyes as I told my family the great news. We are finally going to be the homeowners we always wished to be. I truly want to thank first and foremost our God for this blessing and Habitat for Humanity for giving us the opportunity of making our dreams come true. God bless you all.

Sara and family

Oour household consists of myself – Sara, and my 5 year-old twin sons, Naphtali and Reuben. I am very thankful that we were chosen to be future homeowners through Habitat for Humanity. Since my sons were 6 months old we have lived in a subsidized housing complex, needless to say we encounter mildew and other uninhabitable conditions. A friend of mine invited me to accompany her to a Habitat session and I instantly had negative thoughts about my chances of being chosen but I applied anyway. I wasn’t chosen. Last year I applied again and once again I wasn’t chosen. Then this year I applied once more and finally received the phone call that we’d been waiting for… I WAS CHOSEN! Elated and ecstatic, I couldn’t say anything but “Thank you! Thank you!” repeatedly on the phone. Now, with Habitat’s help I can give my sons the yard that they want, where they can play outside without me feeling disinclined. In our subsidized housing, filth and garbage are everywhere, so my sons rarely play outside of my apartment; we usually drive to a clean park across town.

I work full time and my sons are in Kindergarten, we work really hard to keep our family functioning as a unit. My sons define my life and everything that I stand for and believe in. Out of the blue one of my sons asked me 6 months ago if we can move soon and it surprised me because I sometimes forget how observant children are. It was right then that I looked back in time and remembered the day that I realized I was pregnant: I sat on the side of my bed and made a conscious decision to always put my child’s needs ahead of my own. I remember that day like it was yesterday and applying to Habitat was a step 1 in that direction.

 

Lorielle and family

Hi!  My name is Lorielle, I’m 31 and a single mother to 3 great kids.  They are Jillian who is 11 and is following in my footsteps by being involved with music and acting, Samuel who is almost 9 and is a sports fanatic and Jonah (we call him Jones) who has the funniest personality I’ve ever seen in a 3 year old.  We are so blessed and humbled for the opportunity to partner with Habitat.  Our own home!   I still can’t believe it!  God is so good and we definitely wouldn’t be on this journey without Him.  We are excited every day!  Being involved with Habitat has brought my family closer and has caused my children to be proud of what I am trying to accomplish for them.

We have moved around a lot over the years, for the last 3 years we have lived with my parents in their house.  It’s important to me that my children have stability and this will be more than just a house.  It will be a stable home that I will be able to provide for my family, something I was unable to do on my own.  It is a scary thought to be on my own, but not so scary when I think about all the support we will have from family, friends and our new Habitat friends.  I am so glad to be a part of the mission and look forward to the future!

My son Samuel made me a Mother’s Day card that said Thank you mommy for everything you are doing so we can have our house!  It brought tears to my eyes and made me all the more assured that this is the journey God intends us to be on.

Lauren and family

I am Lauren a 29 year old hard working mother of two boys Noah (6) and David (7) - My Football Stars!! Four years ago we didn’t have a home of our own. Hopelessness seemed to be the proper description of how I felt experiencing this chapter of my life’s journey. I received declines left and right from every single shelter in the state of Connecticut due to no space availabilities. I checked every day for weeks with the greatest hope of being placed somewhere. Unfortunately, it never happened. Throughout the last couple of years we’ve moved on three separate occasions, due to the environment, its unsanitary and unsafe living conditions. With every move the struggle seemed to become more intense and heart breaking especially looking into my children’s eyes; I was so afraid of failing them. But, with the strength that was instilled in me through my God, I kept my faith and fought on. With every shut door it was hard to smile, but I did, because I knew God’s plan had to be much more then I could ever imagine. Not once in my life did I believe that I would become a home owner. To me, that was just something one dreamt about coming from Queens Bridge Housing projects in NYC.

I was introduced to the Habitat for Humanity through a friend/ coworker. She felt my pain, understood my struggle and felt like I’d be a great candidate. I took her advice and joined one of the sessions, turned in all necessary documentation, and patiently waited on a response. After a scheduled home visit with two members of the selection committee I felt a little more at ease. They were absolutely wonderful. So kind, concerned, and treated me with respect and dignity. It amazed me that they were willing to fight on behalf of my family and hadn’t met us a day in their lives. It made me realize that there are Angels that walk the face of this earth working through Christ and they are two of them. I’m so overwhelmingly grateful. Every time I think of how blessed we are, I let a few happy tears flow. I look forward to working hard on building my new home. Thank you God for such a wonderful blessing. Thank you to The Habitat for Humanity, and its volunteers (My Angels) for giving me the honor and privilege of raising my kids in a beautiful safe home setting.

 

Housing before Habitat -

The water damage to the walls that the landlord continued to paint over again and again without ever fixing the real issue. This lead to mold the drywall falling apart. When Lauren asked to have it resolved, the landlord tried to evict her.

Sponsors

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Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut

377 Broad Street
New London Connecticut, 06320
E-mail: mission@habitatect.org
Telephone: 860-442-7890
Fax: 860-701-1334