The Dixon Family
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.
The Ramsey Family
6 years ago I lost our home. We had been renting and living in the same house for years. I was very loyal to my landlord, and I never missed a rent payment. My landlord came to me and my family and explained that he wanted to sell the house. He was very kind and gave me the chance to buy the home before he put it on the market, but due to my credit the bank would not approve my loan. I decided that we would temporarily move in with my mom. The kids were very upset when I told them we had to move, and even more upset when I told them we would be living at grandmas because they wanted their own space. I thought we would only be there about six months to a year, but we’ve been with my mom for three years now.
For years I’ve been trying to save money to buy a home that I can pass down to my kids, and I have worked several jobs to be able to afford this, but still haven’t been able to save up enough for a down payment. My aunt and I watched for the Habitat application process to open again. I was still saving for a down payment when I came in and filled out an application. The application wasn’t hard, but I had to collect a lot of information while also working full time so it was a bit time consuming. After sitting through an application meeting, I didn’t think I would have a chance because I have a good job and a good income. I did a lot of praying. It was agonizing to wait to hear back about whether or not I was approved. I was convinced I didn’t get it. I was at work when I got the call that I’d been accepted and I danced around everywhere. Then I called my mom. She was excited for me, but she said she knew I was going to get it. She said she needed her space back.
Sincerity (19) and Javion (15) ask me every day, “Mom, is it getting closer?” They’re excited to get back to being a family like we used to be. Right now we are having to share two bedrooms between me, my mom, Javion, and Sincerity, and that is just too close for comfort. Due to this, my daughter likes to stay at friends’ houses 3-4 days out of the week, but I think she will stay at home more now that she’ll have her own space. My grandfather has cancer and lives across the street from my mom, so I can help take care of him. Once I move I’ll only be about five minutes away.
My son is already friends with Amanda’s son and they play basketball while I do my sweat equity hours. Javion helps me with my sweat equity every Saturday; thankfully he’s a momma’s boy. My favorite thing so far has been installing the flooring because now I can show my mom how to install her floor the right way. Since I saw how my house was built I feel like I will know how to fix things if they break.
Once we have moved in I can go back to school to study business at Dalton State. I’ve always wanted to go back to school, but never had the time because I’m always working. Sincerity is wanting to take the military route. They help pay for her to go to college and find a career that she is interested in. She almost didn’t graduate, and I definitely think her grades were affected by moving back in with my mom. She didn’t get enough sleep because we were all sharing beds. We are already starting to decorate by looking at Pinterest for ideas. We will have to get all new furniture because I sold most of it when we moved in with my mom. I think I’m most excited about having my own kitchen. I love to bake, but right now all my baking stuff is stored in a storage until we move.
I’d really like to thank all the volunteers for coming out and helping. I got to meet some nice people and meet a lot of them where from Shaw where I work.
The Cochran Family
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.