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 Watts Family
I felt like because I’m a single mom with three kids that applying for a Habitat Home was the easiest way for me to provide a house for my kids. I currently live in the housing authority low income apartments, and that means cold winters and hot summers. They were built in the early 50s so there isn’t very good insulation. I’ve bought my own ac and heating units. I have no dryer so I hang everything up to dry. During the winter I have to turn the heater on and hang them in front of it to dry, and with 4 people that takes a while.
I heard about the application from my friend Jennifer Alston. She was a Habitat Homeowner years ago, and she encouraged me to apply. I felt overwhelmed during the application process because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to have everything in by the due date. At that time, I was working two jobs and going to school. While waiting to hear back I felt really anxious and felt like I didn’t really have a chance of being approved. When I received the phone call that I had been selected I was in the lunch line at work. I almost didn’t answer, but I went ahead and answered because it was a Dalton number. The entire lunch room knew something really good happened because I was jumping up and down and almost in tears. All my coworkers were really excited for me. The first person I called was my best friend. He told me right then and there that he would help me with whatever I needed, and he has helped me with my sweat equity. When I told my kids they all about cried, we were all just so excited.
I was really looking forward to be able to watch the house be built from the ground up. When I started my sweat equity I was really nervous that I was going to get it all done. I haven’t had that many people help, but it seems to really all add up over time.
I’m looking forward to being able to say I own this home. I’m going to be able to cut my laundry time in half, and I’ll have an actual laundry room. I can’t wait for my kids to be happy in this home. Sometimes I feel like my kids are embarrassed to bring other kids to where we live. It’s just not a good part of town, and there is nowhere for the kids to play. They currently play in the street, and I really don’t like that with Uri being so young. I also really like knowing the people that are going to be my neighbors. My house is going to be way bigger than our tiny apartment. I think I’ll be able to cut back on working so much once we have moved in, and that will give me the chance to really focus on my school; as I’m currently taking fewer classes to become an RN. I’ve had times where I’m working 80 hours a week, and I feel like I can’t keep up with my days. Overall, I’m just so thankful and excited.