Janeisha with her six children KenGeornay, Ne’Vaeh, Ja’Zhiya, Ken’Nyjah, Ledonja’nae, and Kenneth at the 2022 Women Build Kickoff Party.
No one should have to worry about the safety and well-being of their family when they lock up and leave for work; but for single mom of six Janeisha, every time she put her key in the door she worried. Would her kids be safe while she was gone? Would their belongings? What new, unwelcomed, and expensive surprise would greet her upon her return?
Since 2020, Janeisha and her family have called many places home. First, there was a rundown apartment that flooded not once, but five times. Then, there was a bedroom at the back of a friend’s house where all seven family members slept, sometimes in the sweltering heat because of lack of air-conditioning. Next, she found herself in a tiny motel room where the only food she could “cook” was microwaveable, and not always the healthiest. And finally, she and her family found themselves in a run-down home insufficiently protected from the elements, surrounded by rodents, and in an unsafe neighborhood. Finding an affordable, permanent solution to their housing crisis proved daunting. The constant worry about where they would put their heads down at night took its toll on the family’s well-being; mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.
“I began to question myself as a woman, a mother, and as a human. How could I continue to disappoint my children?” Janeisha recalled. “They thought so highly of me and there I was once again, showing signs of hopelessness. Once again, I gathered myself and sat them down and encouraged them that this is not our permanent situation.
But a permanent, long-term solution was on the horizon. When Janeisha chose to walk through the door of Habitat, she committed to a better life. Through her partnership with Habitat, she is receiving one-on-one housing counseling and financial education and home maintenance classes. Now, as part of our Women Build Campaign, Janeisha will work shoulder-to-shoulder with other committed volunteers to put in the sweat equity needed to finish what will eventually become her first home. Once the build is complete, Janeisha, just like the many other families that came before her, will pay two-thousand dollars in closing costs, get the key to the front door, and start paying off her affordable mortgage. She will finally have one less worry to carry with her when she locks up and heads to work each day.
“I know that everything is a process and every day is another day to create great memories with the people that you truly love and enjoy,” Janeisha told Habitat. “Remaining committed to the goals gives birth to the best success stories, and I truly believe that our story is one worth creating.”