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Stories: Meet Our Families

Through shelter, we empower. Meet some of the families who have partnered with Habitat to build or improve the places they call home.

Carrie's Story

Every child deserves to breathe easy in their own home.

“They used to say, ‘Do you want us to count the raindrops? Do you want us to do some multiplication with that?’ We made it comical, but I didn’t feel good about it. Now I feel so much better because they have a place that’s cozy and warm and clean, and water’s not in there. They feel more at home, and I do too.”

– Carrie, Habitat Aging in Place program client

When the teacher said her granddaughter Angelique’s grades were falling and that she seemed tired in class, Carrie, a retired math teacher who still tutors, was not only worried – she was embarrassed. She knew a leaky roof and mold were to blame, and that Angelique couldn’t sleep because she couldn’t breathe. Now, with a new roof and sound ceiling to keep her dry, Angelique is rested and making straight A’s. Joshual, Carrie’s great-grandson, uses his asthma medication less. And, with a wider doorway for her wheelchair, Carrie is able and proud to welcome students into her home.

"If you have lemons, you make lemonade. You can even make lemon pie!"

Habitat also installed new lighting in Carrie's kitchen, which makes it easier for her to see her work in the kitchen. Before, she says she didn't cook much because she couldn't see well. Now, she not only cooks more herself, she also is teaching children from around the neighborhood how to cook and how to grow food. Carrie is an optimist, and she believes it's important to continue to give back.

"You know what my mother always told me? If you have lemons, you make lemonade. You can even make lemon pie! There are a lot of people who have less than I do. I am so grateful. You all helped me. I give to others."

Small Modifications=Big Impact

Extra lighting and hand rails help prevent falls. A widened doorway allows for wheelchair access. A dry house eases allergies and asthma. For aging homeowners like Carrie, small improvements can make a huge difference.

We want to empower all homeowners to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. Our Aging in Place Program, which launched in early 2015, does exactly that by serving seniors who cannot afford to make critical repairs and accessibility improvements to their homes.

To date, this program has helped more than 250 seniors stay in their homes, enhance their mobility and improve their health. But more families need our help. According to The Plough Foundation, an estimated 7,900 Shelby County seniors are in need of the improvements Habitat can provide.

Every donation makes a difference. Give today to help more seniors feel safer at home tomorrow.

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