Asha and Hammad – Moved in January 2016
Asha and Hammad fled Sudan with their children in 1999, spent 10 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, and arrived in Milwaukee in 2010. When you meet them, you experience gratitude through the eyes of a family who endured years in refugee camps.
Asha and Hammad moved into a previously city-owned foreclosure that Habitat has completely renovated down to the studs. The house has five bedrooms, which gives them more space for their six children.
The family used to live in a cramped apartment, where monthly rent payments were higher than what they now pay towards the mortgage of their very own home.
Danny – Moved in April 2016
Homeownership to Danny is independence—taking care of his house the way he wants. Habitat homeownership has given Danny the opportunity for more financial stability.
Danny says, “The whole process was a blessing.” After one of the financial management sessions, the entire class agreed, “We should have had this course in our 20s; we’d all be ahead of the game now.”
Tyra – Moved in April 2016
Tyra began construction on her home last May and is excited for the needed space and stability homeownership will bring her and her three daughters.
When asked how homeownership will improve the quality of her life, Tyra stated, “It already has! I learned how to budget my money better from the financial management classes [Habitat requires of all homeowners], and since my house payment is less than my rent, I’m going to save the extra money.
Shanita – Moved in April 2016
For Shanita, home is so much more than a place—it is stability and consistency, something she didn’t always have growing up.
When asked what this house will mean to her, Shanita replied, “I feel that I have something to leave my kids if anything ever happens to me. My own home means a new life for my kids and me.”
Latonia – Moved in May 2016
Latonia Bowie began building her home during the May 2015 Blitz Build week. “I had no experience or background building, but I was excited and willing to learn. As a homeowner, I’ll need to know these things to keep up my house.” says Latonia.
After renting the same two-bedroom apartment for 18 years, she was looking for more space for her daughters Amaya and Kylie, as well as the stability and security of owning her own home. Habitat offered her that opportunity.
Shel – Moved in May 2016
Shel is especially happy about what this home will mean for her son, Jtameyll, four years old. Even though there is outdoor space for him to at her current rental, she does not feel safe letting him play outside. At her new home, he will be able to run around to his heart’s content.
Having grown up in a number of different rentals, Shel feels it is such an accomplishment to be the first homeowner in her family. And with three bedrooms, she will have room for the possibility of a sibling for Jtameyll someday.
Brad & Catherine – Moved in May 2016
Brad & Catherine’s memories of their Milwaukee Habitat experience will be the excitement of seeing the enthusiasm, curiosity and energy of the young volunteers. It was also a pleasure to work with the dedicated, kind, and welcoming Habituals, some of whom Brad has had the pleasure of working with since 1996.
Brad & Catherine want to say to everyone, “God bless all, who have been part of this process.”
Latasha – Moved in May 2016
The family, which includes Kalvion (15), Kayla (13), Kamerin (9), and Khloe (4), had been living in a 3-bedroom duplex for the past seven years. Imagine their surprise when they finally get to see the 5-bedroom home that has been completely rehabbed from the rafters to the glowing hardwood floors. Best of all, they will each have their own bedroom!
Latasha stated, “This has been a life-changing experience! I am looking forward to helping my new neighborhood continue to improve.”
Stephanie – Moved in June 2016
Stephanie had been living with her brother in a two-bedroom duplex, where she and her two boys have been sharing a room. This has helped her to save the money she needed to become a homeowner.
Stephanie’s father passed away the week construction began on her house. She worked on the site in the morning until it was time to get ready for the funeral. She said, “He knew how important it was to me to become a homeowner. It was one of the hottest days of the summer, and I thought if volunteers were working in the heat on my home, then I should be there too.”
Deeanna – Moved in June 2016
Deeanna was Milwaukee Habitat’s 1000th family served in our community. Her home, sponsored by Sargento, is ADA compliant.
When asked what having her own home means for her and her family she stated, “Everything. To begin with, my 4-year-old has a heart condition, and a home without mold or other smokers in the building brings tears to my eyes.”
Zetho Family – Moved in June 2016
Edumakono and his wife, Abeti, were born in different parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A long and brutal conflict in the DRC forced each of them to flee to Tanzania, where they met in a refugee camp.
“[Our families] owned houses when we were in Congo. Very nice houses, but because of the war, we lost everything. We lost houses, we lost siblings…so having a new house is like a dream come true,” says Edumakono.
Tiffany – Moved in July 2016
Taking the first steps toward homeownership was intimidating, but exciting at the same time. She chose Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity for this new adventure because she had heard positive things from others in the community. She found this to be true as she built her home working alongside staff, volunteers, and other future homeowners, like herself.
Tiffany can’t wait to celebrate and create new traditions and memories with daughter Eternity (age 7) and son Shawn (age 11), in their family home.
Shayla & Luke – Moved in July 2016
Shayla and Luke are parents to three children, Michael, age 17; Nyah, age 10; and Luariah, age 5.
When Shayla and Luke learned their new address, they were so excited, especially since it did not include an apartment number. They had lived in their previous rental for 12 years and couldn’t wait to become homeowners. When they talk about it, they emanate excitement and joy.
Janena – Moved in July 2016
Janena has been living in a two-bedroom apartment with her three children, Nelayah, age 9; Denasjah, age 5; and Demetrius, age 4. All three children have been sharing one bedroom.
Janena beams when she says, “My kids will get to be kids again.” At her apartment, there was no outdoor space for them to run around, and they had to be quiet while indoors, so they wouldn’t disturb the neighbors.
“I hope that I can make a positive impact in the community,” Janeana said. She believes that the many homes Milwaukee Habitat has built, rehabbed, and repaired have made a big difference.
Wilson Family – Moved in July 2016
For Isaiah, this home is all about his family. His fiancé and six children: Agrionna (10), Isaiah III (8), Joshua (6), Eli (4), Arionna (2), Noah (Newborn), now have a home they can grow into. The previous place Isaiah rented was too small for his growing family, which includes a newborn and a recently adopted four-month-old puppy.
Luckily, Isaiah’s rehabbed Habitat home is one of the largest homes Milwaukee Habitat has ever built. Formerly a duplex, Isaiah’s kids will now have their own rooms.
Candice – Moved in August 2016
Candice says, “I am excited to help build the home that I plan on living in forever. It will mean so much to my family.”
With two Habitat homeowners in her family, Candice is happy encouraging other families to apply for the Milwaukee Habitat home ownership program. Habitat has helped Candice build a strong foundation for her family for years to come.
Charlotte – Moved in August 2016
For Charlotte this home means stability and affordability. Charlotte has been living with her four children and mother in a five bedroom home, which she says she has been very thankful for. However, she says, “I barely can afford it.”
“This house means stability for me and my family moving up to the next level in life,” says Charlotte, “This would be my first real home.”
Previously Charlotte and her family were living “on the edge,” so she is excited to finally have a home that not only fits in her budget, but she can truly call her own.
Lisa – Moved in September 2016
Lisa’s family had been living with Lisa’s mom in a 3-bedroom house with her fiancée, Jemarr, and children, Andreus (age 9), and Londyn (age 2). Her sister, Louria, is also a Milwaukee Habitat homeowner.
Lisa was born in Milwaukee, and since she was five years old, her family has lived in a house on Sherman Boulevard. Having grown up in a single-family home that her parents owned motivated her to do the same for Andreus and Londyn.
Lisa is most excited about “just having a place that my kids know is their home for good.”
Acquinisha – Moved in October 2016
For Acquinisha, this home will mean strength and independence for her family.
“It will mean a lot to me,” says Acquinisha, “I will be able to have my own home for me and my daughter, something we can call ours.”
Walter – Moved in October 2016
Walter was tired of paying rent to landlords, who never lived up to their promises of repairing or maintaining apartments. Owning his own home had been a lifelong dream for him. A place where his grandchildren could visit and play.
Now in his 60’s, it did not look like he would ever reach that goal. Then he applied and was accepted into Milwaukee Habitat’s homeownership program for hardworking, low to moderate income families. Walter is absolute proof of never giving up on your dream.
Robert – Moved in October 2016
Robert and his six children had been living with Robert’s dad in his 3-bedroom house. There are as many as eight of them when they are all together.
Robert heard about Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity from another homeowner. He thought it sounded like a good opportunity, and he applied. “But I didn’t know that it was going to be THIS good!” Robert says excitedly. He always wanted to own a home, but he didn’t know how long it would take to save money for a down payment. He thought it would be at least five years in the future, but the affordable mortgage made homeownership possible now. “Only because of the Milwaukee Habitat program,” Robert states, “My kids can have a stable place to live with enough room for everybody.”
Emma – Moved in November 2016
Emma has rented the same house for 13 years. She said that the house is okay, but the rent has become more than she can afford, and the heat often doesn’t work in one of the bedrooms or in the living room. Emma also needs another bedroom to care for her brother, who has serious health conditions.
For Emma, homeownership means stability, always having a place to return. Her mother instilled the importance of keeping close family ties. So Emma sees her new home as a place, where other family members can find respite if the need arises.
Sheila – Moved in December 2016
Sheila has been living in Westlawn Gardens, a public redevelopment project. Now ready to buy her own home, she heard about Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity from her sister Martine. Martine is already a Habitat homeowner, and they will live across the street from each other.
Sheila says that having her own house is such a blessing, and the sense of stability is important for her and Unique. She stated, “I am so excited to own my own home. God knew what He was doing, when he put places like Milwaukee Habitat in this world to help people like me who couldn’t buy a home otherwise.”
Tiffany – Moved in December 2016
Tiffany’s future Milwaukee Habitat home will be a source of strength. “I want to have something to call my own,” she says. As a renter, she was tired of paying money to a landlord. “My rent is expensive, and it’s too small for my family,” she states. Her Habitat mortgage payments will be less than what she pays for rent, and as a homeowner, she will build equity.
Tiffany was so excited, she went to the construction site and took pictures of the basement being poured. She has three children and her oldest, LaBria (7), couldn’t wait to have her own bedroom. “It’s all she’s been talking about for weeks,” she said.