“Don’t be discouraged. You can just get back up and try again. It’s definitely worth the fight.”
That’s what Brittany, a single mom, would tell others in her situation.
Brittany is a future Habitat homeowner with two children named Jazlynn and Jayden. She works for the American Red Cross and has lived in a small rental for over 8 years to make ends meet.
She says that she felt trapped before being accepted into the homeownership program. Her neighborhood isn’t safe. There are constant sounds of gunshots and helicopters flying overhead. The intersection nearby is too close and far too busy, so her kids aren’t allowed to play outside or ride their bikes. Brittany shares that her children always ask her, “Why don’t you let me do anything?” “I’m like, ‘You don’t understand, I’m protecting you’.” Brittany insists they need to hold her hand when they walk into nearby convenience stores, saying, “I’m not letting you go.” It’s simply not safe.
Her kids are getting older, and their 2 bedroom home just feels so small. Her son has his own room, but Brittany shares a room with her daughter, and everyone could use a bit more privacy and independence.
Brittany applied to Habitat’s program not once but twice.
She says that she started wondering, “How long will I be where I am?”
When she was finally accepted after applying the second time, Brittany said that it felt
“Amazing. Shocking. Overwhelming. We cried for a few days afterwards.”
Being accepted into the program gave her “hope to be able to grow.”
Brittany has contributed sweat equity every single day she’s off work.
She says, “That’s how much it means to me. I just want to get the hours done.”
She has enjoyed working at the construction site and tells us that she was frankly surprised by how smooth the process is. She says, “I’ve been thinking about still volunteering even afterwards because it’s actually really fun and it’s become part of my routine.”
Seeing the volunteers at the construction site has been “heartwarming,” Brittany says. The first time she came out to build, she saw tons of hard hats and told the crew, “Why are there so many hats? We don’t need all these hard hats.” The next day, there was a group of 60 people. When she saw them, she thought, “Wow! That’s so nice. They’re working so hard, and just to help people. It’s really, really cool.”
Brittany is determined to create a new chapter of her life. Through hard work, she is building a home for herself and her children.
Brittany says, “The Habitat home is going to bring us closer together. We’re really excited. I feel like it will keep my kids safe and keep them on the right path. It’s more comfortable, as a single mother with no man around. Not that I can’t protect my kids, but it’s just not as safe, so being able to have that extra safeness is going to feel good.”