Rebecca Daniels and her children stand on the front porch together on the day of the house blessing. It was a beautiful sunny day, where Rebecca's friends and family along Habitat leaders, volunteers and friends gathered to celebrate and welcome them home.
Prior to moving into their Habitat home in October 2020, Stacey and her girls lived in an apartment complex where heavy drug usage, theft and loud parties were common. While the apartment itself was decent, it was an extremely unsafe environment, especially for children. Stacey did her best to shield her daughters from these dangers, but she dreamed of having a home that was safe for her girls. When talking with Stacey about what this home means to her, she emotionally said, “It means everything”.
James and Alisha are thrilled to be our 2019 partnering family. James Dare moved to Mattoon in 2010 and has worked at Rural King for the past four years. Alisha Quast is a Mattoon native and a stay at home mom. James and Alisha have two beautiful children-7-year-old son Brody, and 3-year-old daughter Delanie. They stated, “We never thought we would be able to have a house of our own. We are very fortunate to be approved and very thankful for everyone willing to help. We can’t wait to make memories in our new home.”
Amber has lived in Charleston for the past nine years and is employed at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. She has two incredible sons, Benjamin and Henry. Amber is honored to be a partner family. She expressed, “I never thought I would have a home of my own, a safe place for my kids to play and have stability. This opportunity to become a homeowner is creating a foundation for our future, giving my kids a home and not just a place to live.” Amber’s home was completed in September 2018.
In fall 2017, we completed the home for Aisha, Destiny and Trinity Crowe. They were living in deploring conditions in a degraded rental home. Aisha was paying $850 in monthly rent to live with insect infestation, mold, rotting wood, poor heating and water dripping on the electric box. More than 100 volunteers worked over 2,000 hours to build their home. Now, Aisha and her daughters are living in a new, safe, decent and affordable home.
Allen and Linda Wilson are senior citizens and have never been able to afford traditional homeownership. The apartment they lived in was also in need of several repairs including flooring and insulation issues. We renovated a home with the Wilson's and dozens of volunteers in the spring of 2017.
In the summer of 2016, we welcomed Justin and Ashley Gossett . They always dreamed of owning a home they could be proud to raise their son in. When they came to Habitat, they were living in a trailer that was dilapidated and unsafe. There was mold in the home, the windows were inoperable, and there was a 3 foot wide hole in the middle of the bathroom floor. Habitat's President Ida Cockrum remarked that "God has given us a gift, and that gift is the Gossett family". Ashley said, "The house blessing was one of the most special days of our lives”.
Sunnie Butler moved into her home in August, 2015. A native of Mulberry Grove, Sunnie had lived in Charleston for about 5 years, going to school and working at Smoky Joe’s. She and her daughter Kelsie chose new paint, appliances, and light fixtures in this renovation project. Kelsie chose pink sparkle paint for her bedroom! The apartment that she shared with her daughter had no room for Sunnie’s son when he came to visit. She now has a place for her children to sleep comfortably.
Jenifer Wilson and her two children worked during the fall and winter of 2014, to refurbish a home and they moved in just in time for Christmas. Before we met them, the Wilsons lived in a trailer in Charleston that had saggy floors, and inferior protection from the elements. We thought it was incredibly special that Jenifer did not allow her children to see any phase of the remodeling as we worked. When we held our house blessing right before Christmas the children got the biggest surprise Santa has ever managed!
Terry and Kylie McCullough worked with us in the summer of 2014 to build their new home in Mattoon. Prior to construction the McCullough’s rented a two-bedroom home in Mattoon. Their son and daughter had to share a room, and the heating system was substandard. In fact, there was no heat at all in the back of the house, which made for some challenging winters.
Jaclyn Wells and her family became a Habitat partnering family in 2013. Jaclyn says ..."The day I was told I was approved for a home I will never forget. I never thought I would ever be approved for such a blessed opportunity. As like most people I had no credit, which is worse than bad credit I came to find out. But Habitat gave me the opportunity for a dream to come true when banks wouldn’t. Me and my family will be forever appreciative of them and all the wonderful volunteers that made our dream into reality."