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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 give us greater independence. My income will be able to support our mortgage with Habitat, and my children will grow up in a home of our own.  What a blessing!”

Although Johanna first sought to participate in the program 8 years ago, her financial situation “needed work”, and she heard the message that she was “not yet ready” to participate.  “I have a great sense of accomplishment to have finally qualified for the program, and I hope my children see that it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to attain a goal like owning a home.”

Johanna has 4 children who will be living in her new home; Precious, Patrick, Monnee and Razon.  Johanna says, “They aren’t quite sure what qualifying for the Habitat program means right now.  Even my parents, who help out a lot with my younger children, don’t really believe this is happening.  I’ve taken them all past the empty lot where our home will be built.  Right now, I don’t think it has hit them that we are going to build a home of our own with Habitat volunteers in the coming months.  It just doesn’t seem possible. “

Once their home is completed, Johanna hopes she can continue her education at Parkland and possibly pursue a degree in social work.  “I started out as a young parent and had to get a job to support our family.  Now that my kids are growing up, I’d like to see if I can make myself better by going back to school.”