Ashley’s mother passed away when she was only 11 years old. She said she not only lost her mother, but her brother as well because he was unable to move in with her and her granny. She remembers this being a very emotional time in her life which made being separated from her brother even harder.
Lacking that support system was a huge blow to Ashley, and she ended up moving to Dalton. After getting pregnant she had to drop out of school and started working to provide for her little one. She was able to go back and get her GED, and has been working since she was 14 years old. She says “It’s been hard; I’ve been doing it on my own, and raising three kids.” She is an amazing mom to three beautiful children that are 15,13, and 9 years old.
She has always said that by the time she was 35 she wanted to be in her own home. She has wanted this for so long, and is happy to have gotten the opportunity that she knows will help her children to live a more stable life. Her son is very interested in sports, and she feels like this will enable him to take his interest further.
A lot of people don’t know that Habitat Homeowners participate in something called “Sweat Equity.” This means they actually help build their homes and other Habitat Homeowner’s homes, and Ashley is extremely excited to start her sweat equity. She is so eager she has already started her hours without even being asked! She and her kids spent a Saturday mowing lawns in the Gene Kirk Subdivision. Her motivation and determination show in everything she does, and she encourages everyone to “never give up because God answers everyone’s prayers.” We are so excited for Ashley and her family, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
Brittany’s parents divorced when she was young, leaving her mother a single parent with two children. She remembers her mom working at least two jobs just to make sure her and her sister were well taken care of. She was a single parent for years before she met Brittany’s stepdad when she was 12. He stepped in and treated her and her sister as his own daughters. The struggles she watched her mom go through were trying, but she never gave in; she always kept going and always stayed positive. Brittany currently works over 40 hours a week to provide for her 3 children ages 7, 3, and 1. She says, “I’m now a single mom with 3 kids and it can be challenging at times, but my kids motivate me to keep pushing through; they are my life.” She will do whatever it takes to make sure her kids are happy and have what they need.
Applying for a Habitat Home is never an easy decision, but Brittany knew it would be more than worth it. Her son plays recreational football, and Brittany feels that this opportunity will allow her to spend more time at his games and will enable her children to be more involved in other activities. Brittany hopes that owning her own home will encourage her children to achieve their own goals. Since being approved she has revisited her own aspirations, and decided to go back to school to become a radiologist. She says those that are struggling should stay motivated and keep trying because everyone deserves a decent place to live, and she is beyond blessed to be receiving a Habitat house. She admits, “I have struggled day to day, and being selected to purchase a habitat house will give me the opportunity to be able to enjoy life with my kids.
Cassie is a second generation Habitat Homeowner. Her grandmother went through the process of becoming a Habitat Partner when Cassie was young. She was raised by her grandmother, and actually participated in her grandmother’s “Sweat Equity” when she was 9. Sweat Equity means that Habitat Homeowners spend 350 plus hours helping to build their homes, and others homes. Cassie has fond memories of lending a helping hand alongside her grandmother and hopes to share similar memories with her children during her Sweat Equity hours. She says “when you work for something it makes you appreciate it more;” something she wants to instill in her children.
Single motherhood is not easy, but Cassie is proud of her 3 beautiful children aged 13, 5, and 2 months. Until now she has been renting, but is happy to begin the process to own her own home. She looks forward to “having something to call my own, and be able to paint the walls.” She can’t wait to have space for her kids to run and play because right now they only have two bedrooms. Space is very tight, and this is what led her to submit an application to become a Habitat Homeowner.
Habitat for Humanity builds strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter, and Cassie looks forward to the stability that owning her own home will bring. She cried and laughed and cried again when she learned she was accepted. She then called her grandmother and they cried together. Cassie can’t wait for her kids to have more opportunities to be involved in sports and other activities, and it is incredibly fulfilling to see this second generation of success.