Mickele Gardner wanted a better life, a nicer place to live, and her own independence. “I applied for a Habitat home awhile back, but couldn’t qualify because of my income and my debt. I started working on paying down my debt, and being more responsible with my money. It took me 10 years to get in a position to apply again. I have always worked, and even owned a business briefly with my Mom, but I never made enough to save for something like a house. Now that we have been selected as a partner family, I am proud of all that work I did to get here.”
Although Mickele was born in Terre Haute, Indiana she moved to Champaign as a young child and graduated from Centennial High School. She studied at Parkland, and went onto achieve her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer science from Eastern Illinois University. Mickele has 4 children; three who live at home with her (Justice 18, Donald 15 and James 14). Her oldest son Curtis and his family live in Champaign, and she is now a proud grandmother to baby Jordan (2 months).
Since being promoted to Manager at Sally’s Beauty Shop, Mickele now has the income and stability to support her family and is looking toward a brighter future. “I love to decorate and I’m anxious to decorate my home the way I’ve always imagined.” Living in substandard and temporary housing has made her move to home ownership that much sweeter. “I want my children to see the value of taking care of things you own. I want to be a part of a neighborhood that takes pride in their homes and belongings.”
“I can’t say enough about how grateful I am to the volunteers who will be helping our family on the house. They are a true blessing! “