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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.

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.


Shanette and family

My name is Shanette and I am the proud parent of three spectacular children. Shaneva, 15 years old, is in the 10th grade. The sky is the limit for her. She is involved with the cheer team, the S.T.E.P.S. and Star program. She is president of the Art Club and a member of the Math team. She is always on the First Honor Roll. Her ambition is to become a physician. Shavaughn, 13 years old, is in the 7th grade. He enjoys playing basketball. When he is not playing basketball he enjoys playing his Play Station. Shantel, 11 years old, is in the 5th grade. She enjoys modeling and outdoor activities. I am a Medical Assistant and have been employed with my current employer for three years. I am an active member of my church, Heritage Tabernacle. I am the Assistant Youth President of the Youth Ministry and President of the Vision Legacy Project where we aim to stomp out hunger in Haiti and Jamaica. I consider myself to be a hard worker, go-getter and someone you can always count on.

My family currently occupies a two-bedroom apartment. The sleeping arrangements are not always the best. There are the issues of overcrowding and affordability. I work hard and manage to keep a roof over our heads. There is always the concern of safety. Living in this apartment complex I am not sure of individuals entering. I’m always nervous to send my children outside to play. My co-worker who is familiar with my current housing situation introduced me to Habitat for Humanity and gave me some insight into the program. I went online requested information and was notified of an upcoming Applicant Information Meeting. I applied and did the necessary paperwork. Following the application process, I was told CONGRATULATIONS you have been selected to become a future Habitat homeowner. I was lost for words; I just fell on my knees and began to thank God.

 The journey is well worth it. If I had gone to a traditional financial institution, chances are I would not have met certain requirements. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity I am on my way to becoming a homeowner. My family and I look forward to volunteering, so another family can experience what we experienced. To know that we will have a place of your own is so joyous. I still feel like I am dreaming, but thanks to God and to Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut my dream is going to become a reality.

Ashley and family

My name is Ashley. I have been working in the medical field for over ten years. I really enjoy my job and love being able to help people. I am a mom to the two most amazing kids. My son, Avondrai, is 7 years old. He really is an amazing kid, so friendly, smart and helpful, loves school, has a lot of friends and loves sports. My daughter, Dynazty, is 4 years old. She also has a lot of friends and is the funniest, sweetest and most loving little girl ever. She loves to dress up, sing, dance, draw, do gymnastics and is always finding a way to make people smile.

I have lived in NY my whole life and my children were born there. I never thought I would be a single mom raising two kids on my own. It has been so hard but I can honestly say my kids are my best friends and all the struggles of raising them on my own have been well worth it, they truly are the strength that keeps me going.  

We faced a lot of struggles living on our own in NY before we decided to make a big move to the country. I still had my job in NY and I did this commute for almost two years. I didn't want to give up my job until I found one here. Finally I found one in the medical field.

There was just one thing missing finding a house for us to live in. We have been sharing one room since we have moved to Connecticut. It has been tight, and we all definitely need our own space and we would love our own kitchen and yard. 

I found out about the Habitat program through a Habitat homeowner. I was interested in the program and applied. My first application was denied, which was very upsetting but I didn’t want to give up. I applied again, had a home inspection and I was so nervous! I could not believe how kind the family selection volunteers were. I was so nervous waiting to hear back. It felt like forever!  Finally I got a call saying that we were selected to become Habitat homeowners. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy!   


I am looking forward to this experience. It has been such a huge blessing in so many ways. My kids and I will have a permanent, forever home and will no longer have to worry about moving or switching schools. I am excited to help build the home as well. I know owning a Habitat home will give me and my children so much stability and add so much happiness to our lives. It will allow us to accomplish so much more. 

It has ALWAYS been my dream to be a homeowner and I've been working very hard for many years to accomplish this goal for my kids. Having a comfortable, safe and functional home is a crucial piece to a person’s well being and success. Me and my children are so very thankful for this amazing opportunity!    

David and family

My name is David and I am a single father of 4 beautiful children: Nicole (15), Ashley (13), David Jr. (11) and last but not least my daughter Jenalise (9).

This chapter in my life couldn’t come at a better time. Struggling with the paying bills and trying to make school events is tough. I am a full time sous chef at Lillian’s Café in Niantic. While my children do homework and eat dinner, I get ready to head to my night shift. I moved to Connecticut in 2001 to better myself and the little girl that was due shortly after. Nothing has ever come easy for my family and myself, but I always strive to do the best that I can. With the grace of God, my children have had a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies.

I was introduced to Habitat by a close friend who insisted I attend the first meeting to try to move forward with homeownership. In this meeting I sat and listened to all the information that Habitat had to offer families in need. Receiving the phone call after Habitat came to my home was just the very next step. “Congratulations Mr. Sanchez, you will now be a homeowner”, as she stated when I received the call. A huge weight fell off my shoulders knowing the opportunity that awaits my family and me. It is so surreal. I can’t wait to start the build of the home that will be for my family.

Thank you, Habitat for Humanity, for your generosity in helping so many families like my own. To a new beginning and a worthwhile journey!

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.

Felix, Zoila and family

We are so happy and thankful to God and of course, to the members of Habitat for Humanity for selecting our family as the recipients of a habitat home. We are so thankful for without your help, we wouldn’t be so close to accomplishing such an amazing dream that seemed impossible due to the high interest rates and difficulties that many banks put in place, just to buy a home. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to fulfill our dreams of living in a safe, stable and comfortable home. We are filled with joy to know that just as we are recipients of such a home, as we work our hours through Habitat, we also share the joy and happiness of other families that are fulfilling their dreams thanks to the kind contributions of the Habitat family. This opportunity will definitely improve our lives and has been a blessing gifted from above. Willing to collaborate with you, we say see you soon!


Leonice and family

My name is Leonice. I am a mother of two wonderful boys, Isaiah and Elijah.Isaiah is a 4th grade student. He likes to play soccer and video games, and he’s a big LEGOS fan. Elijah stays home with my mom while I’m at work. He’s very energetic. He loves cars, and he loves playing ball. Isaiah and Elijah are the reasons why I strive to do more in life. I am a customer service representative at United Community & Family Services in Norwich. I went to school to become a dental assistant. I love my job, and I love what I do, and  because I can do both, be at the front desk and be an assistant sometimes. I love to dance, listen to music; I speak four languages.

I found out about Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut through a coworker who is a Habitat Homeowner. After going through the application process, I listened to my voicemail and learned that I was accepted into the program. I was so emotional and happy. I could not believe it.

My hope is to give my children stability, and thanks to Habitat, we are homeowners, and I can finally have a place of my own. Now we don’t have to worry about loud noise on the top floor, people smoking in the hallway, the bathroom leaking, people getting our mail, problems with the stove, not finding parking places, and police in and out of the apartment complex. It’s an unsafe place to live. These are the many issues that we have at the place we rent. Having a house now is a dream come true. Now we are hoping for a better future.

 I’m very happy to be involved in this organization, to learn more and to help others. I look forward to always being a part of Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut. Thank you, Habitat, for this great opportunity.

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!


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Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut

377 Broad Street
New London Connecticut, 06320
Telephone: 860-442-7890
Fax: 860-701-1334