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GATSON FAMILY

Latonya Gatson is a Champaign County native who grew up attending Champaign schools and graduating from Central.  She has the blessing of 5 children; her three youngest; Germaine, Arlaysha, and Richard, are excited to become Habitat homeowners.  Her oldest son Xavier played basketball at Central and now attends Lincoln College.  Her oldest daughter Kyaira had her first child this past year and Latonya is thrilled to be a grandmother!

LaTonya is proud to be partnering with Habitat “knowing that my kids will have a place of their own in a better neighborhood that is safer and quieter– is a huge relief.   They have all seen me struggle to provide for them.  My 13 year old daughter (Arlaysha with Downs Syndrome) especially needs a stable place to grow up.  Now that I am also a grandmother, I am even more inspired to do everything I can to provide this opportunity for my family.”

Latonya has taken classes in hotel management, but she has really enjoyed a steady career at Macys Department Store for the past 9 years.  Opportunities for advancement have come and gone, as she tried to maintain a flexible schedule to attend school and medical appointments with Arlaysha’s support professionals.  “Now that Arlaysha is in middle school, things are more stable for her and I have been happy to accept more responsibility at work and extend my work hours.”

Latonya is thankful for the opportunity to partner with Habitat.  “It is a blessing to know people will be coming out to help us build our home.  They are helping us, but also helping the community to be stronger.  I am so proud to be able to help my children grow up and be motivated to do the right things in life.  Building this home with Habitat is a wonderful start.”