Home is the Foundation



“We have to encourage each other, every day. We’ve got to stand for something or we’re going to fall for anything. That’s what I tell them all the time – just believe. We’ll make it happen…..Anybody can tell you anything. You have to know what you want and what you have to do to achieve it."

 

“My son is my main motivator”, Lissa says as she explains how she’s managing to complete her sweat equity hours while being a single mom of two kids and working two jobs. She drops her voice ever-so-slightly to impersonate her 13 year-old-son, JaColby, before continuing. “Mom, you know what you say, you’ve got to believe in it, or you’re going to fall in your thoughts and you’re not going to do it!” She pauses, and then adds in her own voice, laughing, “I hate when they’re right.”


For Lissa, family is everything and her biggest goal is to be the best mom she can be for JaColby and her ten-year-old daughter, TaLeah. That’s why partnering with Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity to build and purchase her own home is so important to her. “Home is the foundation of a family”, she says. “It’s what brings you together.”


Right now, Lissa and her children are borrowing space in her aunt’s crowded 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home. “We use the house like our own little apartments. My aunt has her room, my mom has a room”, she explains. The final bedroom belongs to Lissa’s aunt’s granddaughter. TaLeah usually sleeps with Lissa’s mom, though her regular dialysis treatment sometimes makes the arrangement uncomfortable. “My daughter sleeps with my mom. The den area where the table goes, we have a couch there, and that’s usually where I sleep. Or depending on how my mom’s feeling…my daughter will sleep on the little couch and I’ll sleep down below.” JaColby shares the living room with Lissa’s cousin – he sleeps on the sofa and the cousin in a daybed.


With living space at a premium, everyday activities can be a challenge. “I’m limited in what I can do…it’s not like you can cook every day when you want to…with the kids going to school, it’s kinda hard, not having an actual room. Cause {they’ve} got to lie down, but then there are people in the other part of the house, talking.”


But with a Greater Matthews Habitat home of her own, all of that is going to change. Lissa and the children will each have their own room. She can cook whenever she wants, and the kids will have designated space to study. She’s even considering going back to school herself. Lissa is also looking forward to spending dedicated time with JaColby and TaLeah: “I tell them all the time, when we get in a house…Friday night is family night. We’re gonna make a homemade pizza – that’s gonna be the first thing we do.”


She knows that this is just the beginning of her homeowner journey, but JaColby keeps her mind in the right place. “Mom, you’re gonna do it – we got this mom, we’re gonna do it.”, she says, impersonating his voice again. She nods emphatically as she talks, affirming his words with her own, “And I’m like we got this. We have to encourage each other, every day. We’ve got to stand for something or we’re going to fall for anything. That’s what I tell them all the time – just believe. We’ll make it happen…..Anybody can tell you anything. You have to know what you want and what you have to do to achieve it.”


40 views0 comments