The past year has shown us what is important or at least reminded us what should be prioritized. Things like family and shelter are two of the most important things anyone can have.
Habitat Monroe is proud to be able to provide safe, decent, affordable housing to hard-working families after 25 years and even a global pandemic won’t stop us. Habitat has helped to house 103 families, consisting of over 150 adults and over 225 children.
In December of 2020, Habitat Monroe’s 105th family partner, Nickole, entered the homeownership program.
Nickole is a Michigan native, born in Muskegon. She currently works as a customer service representative for an online retailer. She is a mother of four children – William, 24, Jasmine, 20, Jordin, 10, and Nova, 7. Her son William just had Nickole’s first grandson as well.
With a full house and busy schedules, it’s clear that family is a big part of Nickole’s life and a motivator for her goals.
“I am most motivated to own a home by the idea of my kids having their own space and finally having a pet. I want to be the central meeting place for my loved ones,” she said.
Nickole had first heard of Habitat for Humanity while she was looking for properties to purchase on a State of Michigan website.
“I applied for habitat after I called to speak with [Homeownership Director] Julie about another program,” Nickole said. “I was told about that awesome environment and program Habitat offers and decided to switch gears with my home buying.”
Buying a home at any time can stressful but especially when an air of uncertainty lingers in everything we do now. Habitat Monroe offered Nickole a hand-up in her homeownership journey.
She was officially accepted into the program at the end of last year and hopes to close on the home she was offered in August of 2021. The home is in the quiet lake neighborhood of Woodland Beach in Frenchtown Twp.
The kids already have big backyard plans, according to Nickole. She describes her youngest daughter, Nova, as the ‘neighborhood mayor’ who is always outside starting clubs with the other kids in the area.
Since being accepted, Nickole has worked to fulfill the program’s requirements which include creating a savings account to save a $1,000 down payment, and financial counseling and homebuyer education classes with the Habitat HOPE program.
Another requirement of the Habitat homeownership program is the willingness to complete 200 hours of volunteer work or ‘sweat equity.’ Nickole has been working hard to plug away at her sweat equity hours on the build sites. Habitat homeowners work anywhere that they are needed for the day, not only on their own homes, and do at least 100 hours of volunteer work building homes.
“So far, my favorite part of the program has been the skills I am learning being on site. I can probably do an okay-ish job hanging a door if I needed to, and I like that,” she said.
What is next for Nickole and her family once they officially move into their Habitat home?
“Lots of gatherings and BBQs,” she said. “I’m so excited to start making memories.”