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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Frankie, Laqueshala and family

We are extremely fortunate and thankful to have the opportunity to be future homeowners through Habitat for Humanity. We are a family of six, consisting of myself- Frankie, my wife -Laqueshala and our 4 children: Frankie 10, Roderick 9, Mercedes & Myrna 5. We currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment in which the bedrooms belong to the children and my wife and I use the living room space as our bedroom. As one would imagine, our living condition is definitely crowded and the lack of a family communal space can be straining. Laqueshala and I work very hard to support our family. I am a home improvement contractor, a full-time student at Three Rivers Community College, where I am pursuing a degree in criminal justice, and I also coach youth football in New London. For the past 9 years my wife has been employed by UCP of Eastern CT, where she is the supervisor of the day program for adults with disabilities.

When we met, we were both living in subsidized housing. Since our eldest son was born, we’ve lived in subsidized housing in Groton. Home ownership has been a dream for us for many years and through hard work and the priceless assistance from Habitat for Humanity and the wonderful volunteers that make it all possible, are dreams are soon to become reality.

Mary and family

My name is Mary and I am the mother of 3 beautiful girls. I have been a single parent for 36 years. My first two daughters have families of their own and have blessed me with 5 grandchildren. My youngest daughter Cheyenne is 19 years old and attending Three Rivers Community College where she is studying psychology and exercise science. Cheyenne hopes to attend UNH in the future. I think that becoming a Habitat homeowner will open up many new possibilities for a brighter future for both myself and my daughter Cheyenne.

I first heard of Habitat for Humanity around three years ago when I saw an article in the Day newspaper. I applied but at that time had too much debt to     income ratio. With a little guidance and a lot of soul searching I declared bankruptcy. The want to own my own home never left. With my finances cleared up and on a better path, I decided to look to Habitat again. I truly believed that I would never be selected to be a future home owner because of what seemed like too many negative factors. My age… 54, My daughter’s age…19, And my bankruptcy… Happily, Habitat does not discriminate. They took the time to meet with me one on one to go over questions I had on my big application. And when the home visit came they took the time (2 hours) to listen to everything we had to say. Our current situation with a broken heating system, electrical problems, leaks, mold and break-ins left us desperate for a better way.

We would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for believing and trusting in us. Cheyenne and I can not wait to begin our journey. 

Forever grateful,

Mary Rich and Cheyenne Manchester

Linda and family

My name is Linda and I am 35 years old and am a mother to three beautiful children.  O’Ryann is 15 years old and loves video games, Daelyssa is 14 years old and has been a tap dancer for 10 years and Karisma is 7 years old and has been taking tap for 3 years.  I am currently a student at Three Rivers Community College where I am pursuing a Nursing Degree.

I heard about Habitat for Humanity through the newspaper and saw they were having a information seminar and decided to go.  I went in February 2012 and completed the processes necessary.  In May 2012 I received the call from my volunteer partner Evelyn that I was selected.  Me and my family were so happy to finally have a dream come true.  We cannot wait to start the process and also to help others make their dreams come true by helping them with the processes of Habitat.  I could never express in words how much I appreciate everything everyone has done for me thus far and to all the volunteers that will be part of my build including the United States Coast Guard.  Thank you all so much for taking time out of your busy lives to help my families dream come true.

Tanikka and family

 

My name is Tanikka.  I have two sons Jaylen,11 years old and DeJean, 8 years old.  Owning my own home has always been just a dream for me.  Recently, I moved back home to buy my own home; but not long after moving back home, I realized that it was going to be more than I could afford.  Living back home quickly became an overcrowded situation.

I heard through a friend that Habitat was accepting applications and at first I must admit I was very hesitant.  I just couldn't believe that there was even a possibility that I could be given the opportunity to own my own home.  I went to the seminar got the application, filled it out, and expected to be denied.  It wasn't until I was chosen to do the big application, did I actually believe I had a good chance of owning a place my children and I could call home.

When I received the call that I would be getting one of the houses Habitat had to offer I was completely speechless.  So many emotions where running through me, and in the end, all I could do was cry and thank God.  I'm so truly grateful and would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for making my dream of owning my own home a reality.

Tracy and family

My name is Tracy Quilter.  I’m a single mother of 2 beautiful girls, Brittni and Brooklyn.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have been given this opportunity to be part of Habitat for Humanity.  My girls and I have lived in low income housing for quite a while now and were in desperate need for a change in our living conditions due to horrible mold problems and other unsafe conditions.  Knowing I could never make this change on my own, I looked into Habitat for Humanity and was chosen to be a “Future Homeowner”.  I never thought I would hear those words or ever imagined I could ever own my own home, things like this just don’t happen to us.  I still have to remind myself that I am going to own my own home where my girls can be safe and live in a healthy environment.  I always dreamed of doing something amazing for my girls to show them how much I love them, although this is not a trip to Hawaii or Disney World or some other tropical paradise, but so much more.  They may not realize it now but this will be a big gift for them.  I want to prove to my girls that you can do anything and even though you may think some goals are so far out of reach, to never give up.  And even though it took me a while I’m going to make everything OK for my girls.

Sincerely grateful,

- Tracy Quilter

Jennifer and family

My name is Jennifer and I have been a mother since I was 16 1/2 yrs. old. I have 5 amazing children. Three girls and twin boys. Alixzandra is 21, Miriaha is 18, Jonathan & Giovanni are 10 and Gabriayla is 8. I am employed the the State of Ct. in the dept. of Developmental Services. I have been employed by them for, four years.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and moved to New London in 1999 and have lived here ever since. My children attend N.L schools and my three younger children attend an awesome after school program, where they perform in plays and participate in sports programs and girl scouts. Alix is set to graduate from college in spring of 11' and Miriaha will be graduating from H.S as well.

I heard about Habitat for humanity thru an article in the New London Day. I went to a Saturday meeting in Groton. I listened and took an application, filled it out and passed it in by the deadline. Then I started to pray. I received a letter stating Habitat wanted to look further into my family’s situation. I cried, and filled out an even bigger application and gathered all the needed documents. Once all my T's were crossed and my I's were dotted, I felt that on paper my family would never qualify. So I prayed a lot and passed it in anyways. Every time Habitat popped onto my head I prayed that God would bless my family with this wonderful gift, and he did.

Realizing for the first time in my life my children and I would have a place of our own. That meant enough space for everyone. No overcrowding, no mold, plumbing and electrical problems no rodents and screens in our windows so air can flow through the house. And most of all no longer having to deal with a landlord or giving them 75% of my income while living in substandard housing. Not to mention the possibility of having our own basketball hoop in the backyard.

I cried and cried and cried. Finally a place to really call home. My friends and family are very excited to embark on this new journey in our lives and look forward to all the things we will learn to maintain our home. The O'Neil-Lopez family home. Many thanks to God and Habitat for Humanity for this wonderful opportunity to better our lives and others.

Martiza and family

My name is Maritza. I am a mother of three. My daughters are Estrella, who is 14 years old, Elisa, who is 12 years old, and my son Elic, who is 5 years old. The reason why I am so happy to get a Habitat home is because my kids need a better and safe place to call home. Being a mother with low income makes it impossible to purchase a home because no one will give you a mortgage. So getting a Habitat home is the only way I could purchase a home for my children and myself. We have lived in the projects for eleven years because it is all that I could afford. It has been a struggle because it’s not a safe or healthy environment for my children. Getting this house means that where there is a will, there is a way. - Written at the beginning of the process with Habitat for Humanity of Southeastern Connecticut

Stacy and family

"My son, Isaiah who is 19 months old and I currently live with family where living space is extremely light. We are very limited to the space we have. My room is used as a bedroom, toy room, living room and a dining room. As my son gets older I notice the space getting smaller and smaller. I knew that I would need to find a place to settle down with more living space and a place that we could call home. I wanted a place for my son to be able to grow and explore. I didn't want him to always have that feeling of being limited to where he could. go.

I hear about Habitat for Humanity from one of my co-workers. I was extremely excited and found out when the next information seminar was. At the seminar I met some of the people from Habitat who were willing to help and support me through my journey.

I am very thankful to be a part of the Habitat family. They haven given me so much hope far a better future. I look forward to working with them for many more years to come as they are now part of my family."

- Stacy

Written just after the family was accepted into the
Habitat for Humanity of Southeastern Connecticut program.

Jennifer and family

My name is Jennifer and I believe anything is possible. I heard about the Habitat for Humanity program from my mother, Jenny. She has donated time and materials to various Habitat programs over the years. I was attracted to the program because it is an amazing opportunity for a family which would otherwise be unable to afford a home that would suit the needs of their family. The Habitat for Humanity process is an opportunity to strengthen our family and community ties through cooperative work and a shared goal of building a home for our family’s future. My goal for that future is to create a home for my children and myself in which we can build many happy memories.

I am a 36 year old, divorced mother of three boys. … My sons enjoy skateboarding, video games and listening to music. They also love to camp, hike and swim. I am a second year teacher with my Bachelor’s degree and currently teach a combined class of third and fourth graders at the Integrated Day Charter School in Norwich. I am a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society, am a certified cheerleading coach, and participate in school council as well as the retreat advisory board for my school.

I have enjoyed my involvement with Habitat for Humanity immensely. I have made new friends, been awed by the level of commitment from volunteers and workers, have seen the joy of a new homeowner and the sweat of a family working toward that goal. My family qualified for this house because we are currently living in an overcrowded situation and are a one-income family. I believe other families who are similarly qualified are being given an incredible opportunity to change their lives for the better. I am certain that my participation in the Habitat program will continue over the years, and I believe this opportunity to change their lives for the better. I am certain that my participation in the Habitat program will continue over the years and I believe this opportunity will give my friends and family the knowledge of what an amazing program this is. I know this involvement with Habitat will allow my family to not only own a home, but also learn the value of hard work and commitment. Most importantly, I believe this process will strengthen my belief that with faith and perseverance, anything is possible.

Carlee and family

I, Carlee, am the mom of this family and have been a single working mom for the past 10 years. I have worked at Foxwoods Resort Casino since 2001 and am currently the Senior Training Representative for the Pequot Academy, the Training and Development division of Human Resources. I have three children. Mackenzie, my oldest daughter ... is very involved in her youth ministry, Living Proof, at Fellowship Church in Middletown, a volunteer student teacher in the pre-school kids’ church, attends weekly small group bible study and is a member of the NFA Bible Club. She loves to take pictures. She is planning to attend a bible college with a major in early childhood education. My son, Cameron, ... is also involved in Living Proof and attends weekly small group bible study. He is a hands-on young man who loves to create things, from arts and crafts to baking in the kitchen. He has his boater’s license and loves to spend time with his father tending their extensive home garden. He is a member of ConnectiKITERS and an experienced Rokkaku kite battler. Cheyenne, my youngest daughter, ... loves to read, and writes the most amazing stories. Her (now-retired) school principal once wrote on her end-of-year report card that he looks forward to one day reading her published books. She is looking forward to contributing sweat equity hours for the many A’s and B’s on her report card!

Ten years ago, my youngest daughter and I were living in a domestic violence shelter with only those possessions that I could fit into the trunk of my car. Those 10 years were full of hardship, hard work, joy, laughter and tears, and most of all grace… grace by the gift of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And what a blessing it is that my children will be able to experience first hand, sleeping in our own home, that hard work pays off. Owning a home is the American dream and I believe our Habitat home will encourage my children to continue to work hard toward their dreams of one day owning their own homes.

Habitat’s goal is to make a ‘forever’ difference in the lives of others. To our family, this home will do just that… make a ‘forever’ difference in our lives. It will remind us, all who know us, and all who come to know us that hardship can be overcome with hard work and most of all, with faith. We will be forever grateful for this blessing and we know that we will continue to be involved in the Habitat ‘family’ for years to come. I want to thank my employer, Foxwoods Resort Casino, for taking great interest in the communities of its team members. Foxwoods issued a memo about Habitat’s home ownership program that led to my application and subsequent acceptance into the program.


Our Habitat House

By: Cheyenne (age: 12)

My mom first found out about Habitat at Foxwoods, where she works. She then went to a meeting, signed up, and our Habitat story began. I can remember the day mom told me we were accepted. I was ecstatic! We were finally going to have a house of our own! Every time we drive up the driveway, I have to remind myself this isn’t a dream. In one house we used to live in the only floor you could see was a walkway just large enough to walk in. This was because my brother’s, sister’s, and my bed took up all the room, not because of a mess. Now I have my own room, with plenty of space. Looking back now, our situation has definitely changed for the better, even if it did take some time and work along the way. For me and my mom, Saturday is our day, so we like to go out places and spend time together then. While we were building the house, my mom spent Saturdays building, and it was hard not having that day together like we always do. Me and my brother were too young to help build, and that was really frustrating because we really wanted to. But in the end, it really paid off, because we now live in a nice, big house that has suitable heating, instillation, and A.C, with enough room for everything and everyone. I am very grateful for our house and all the wonderful people who helped to provide it, and always will be.

 

 

 

 

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