Family Stories

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MILLER FAMILY

Habitat home owner Kortinee Miller grew up in Champaign and loves having close relationships with her childhood friends from her Park Street neighborhood. ” My parents both worked and retired from Kraft, and all 7 of us kids were very connected with our neighborhood friends.  I’m hoping our new Habitat home will give my daughter the same chance to live in a special neighborhood

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ROSE FAMILY

Heather Rose, one of Habitat’s newest homebuyers says, “I feel like I have ‘won the lottery’ by qualifying for this opportunity to build a home with Habitat. It’s a dream come true.  Habitat is doing great things in our community and I am so proud to be a part of it!  I’ve worked hard and relied on God to get to this point– and

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McFARLAND FAMILY

Toranda McFarland has set a few important goals for her life.  “I wanted to straighten out my credit, finish my college education, and own a home of my own.”  It looks like she’s just about ready to accomplish all three. “ My mentor and friend Arica Moss (another Habitat homeowner) tells me I need to get some new goals, now that I am part

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BRIGGS FAMILY

Johanna Briggs credits her work history with the University of Illinois Dining Services as the most significant factor in helping her provide a stable home for her family and children.  “Over the past 11 years, I have built a steady income with health benefits that supported my family.  Although we have lived in various subsidized housing units, our participation in the Habitat program will

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NICOLE BLACKWELL-PARKER

Nicole Blackwell-Parker and her three children are “making it work” in a small two bedroom apartment, but she’ll be happy to move into a new home with Habitat’s help. “I have never really “won” anything in my life— but I feel like I have finally “won something very big” in being selected to build a home with Habitat!” Recently divorced, and her family income

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O’BANNON FAMILY

What do you do when you are living in a “rent to own” home and you find a letter on the door addressed to the landlord for not paying the taxes-stating that the tenet must vacate the home in 6 days?  You move out and you lose all the “equity” you paid into the rent to own arrangement.  That’s the situation that LaKendra  O’

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REED FAMILY

Serlena Reed might not be from Champaign County, but she knows a great place to live when she sees one!  Growing up in Danville, moving to Chicago, then back to Danville, she is happy to now call Champaign “home”.  “I’ve had some challenges in my life.  I had my first child when I was in 9th grade, and started working and moved into my

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WILSON FAMILY

Born and raised in the Garden Hills neighborhood of north Champaign, Nakeshia Wilson grew up playing in the neighborhood with her friends.  She says she has stayed here in the area because it feels like a “family oriented, working community”.  She has enjoyed raising her children with the diversity in C-U and tells them all the time that “positive choices” are really important. Since

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EMPSON FAMILY

Lori Empson spent her childhood growing up in Peoria, and moving more times than she cares to remember.  As a young adult she moved to Bloomington, and finally Champaign where she says she has “finally found a community” where she could get a better job and the community support she needed for raising her 5 children (ages 6 to 22).  Her youngest Russell, needs

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MARTIN FAMILY

Stephanie Martin has lived in is an East Central Illinois all her life.  She was born in Danville and moved to Champaign prior to starting school.  She graduated from Urbana High School and started her career at Mr. John’s Beauty School.  She has worked for various salons over the past 13 years and hopes to maybe own of her own someday!  She has two

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