Categories: Family Stories, Habitat Tucson

Raines Family

Riding a bike down safe streets, summers spent by the pool, the freedom to laugh and play — these are the joys of being a kid.

But for Navaeh Angel, the 11-year-old granddaughter of Kay Lynn Raines, those simple joys aren’t possible.

Over the last year, Kay Lynn’s apartment was acquired by new management — and with the change came new rules regarding children’s ability to play outside.

“We can’t barbeque in our backyards, kids can’t ride bikes, the pool is always closed, and there’s no playground,” said Kay Lynn. “And we pay a lot to live there.”

That’s when she decided to pursue homeownership. She wanted to provide her granddaughter the opportunity to be a kid again.

“You can’t make kids stay in the house, I mean, what kind of life is that?” she said. “And I think it will be really good for her to have a sense of home. It’s going to be really awesome.”

Kay Lynn would know — her job at the juvenile courts exposes her to many examples of poor upbringings. It is her passion to help children make their way back into loving homes with family, she explained.

Kay Lynn considers herself a Tucson native, having moved from California over 30-years-ago. Her friend, a Habitat homeowner and volunteer, told her about Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program — but Kay Lynn was hesitant. Now, that hesitation has turned to gratitude.

“I know that I could never have done this out on my own,” she said. “But I do believe everything happens for a reason — on God’s time, not mine.”

A home will bring Kay Lynn and Navaeh a place where they can be themselves without fear. Navaeh is especially excited about having a backyard where she can play.

As for Kay Lynn, she says, “I’m excited about the house, but what I’m really excited about is all the community coming together — all the people, all the volunteers, my partner — just working with other families. And hopefully one day, I can turn around and do the same thing for others.”

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