George Calhoun

- Veterans Build Homeowner

"Having the help to provide a new roof on my home has made a big difference in my life. I wasn't able to go up on the roof to repair it myself, and Habitat showed up and took care of everything."

Nicole Greene

- Pride Build Homeowner

"Pride Build feels like family. I have been restoring my home for five years and having this work completed feels like a huge relief and gives me a sense of security."

Ronald Davis

- Pride Build Homeowner

"Having my house painted was one huge burden taken off my plate. I couldn't be happier."

Karen Chop

- Pride Build Homeowner

"It is easier to get around, my handrails had splinters and some of the wood was cracking. In addition, the replacement of one of the doors made it safer for me."

Janice Miles

- Pride Build Homeowner

"Pride Build means getting to enjoy football season on our repaired deck and having peace of mind that the crack in our foundation has been repaired."

Renee Zakaryan

- Pride Build Homeowner

"I am so grateful for the home repair assistance from Pride Build. The work completed by the volunteers is beyond amazing."

Marjorie Thomas

- Rock the Block Homeowner

"I've lived in Wendell Phillips for 29 years and now my home feels like the newest house on the block."

John Fiske Elementary

- Rock the Block Project

"Rock the Block volunteers rejuvenated the playground at John Fiske Elementary School in the Armourdale neighborhood of Kansas City, KS."

Overland Park Rock the Block

"We teamed up with the City of Overland Park, Kansas to transform the homes of seven families with minor home repair in the Friends and Neighbors Neighborhood."

James Meyer

- Veterans Build Homeowner

"Coming home now, life is better. Being able to sit on my porch and look at my yard being free of clutter makes me feel better."

Michael

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"Just because a house has a table and four chairs, doesn't make it a home. We put the heart and soul into it. For people to donate to this, you're helping build dreams."

Roy

- Veterans Build Homeowner

"Roy, a retired Navy veteran is so excited for his new and improved bathroom renovation completed though Habitat KC's Veterans Build program."

Donya James

- Women Build Homeowner

"I want my family to know that once I get my keys, I’ll always have an open door."

Khadija Yussuf

- Women Build Homeowner

"I am so excited to see the community come together to build my home."

Jennifer Howard

- Women Build Homeowner

"There’s no more moving around. No more worrying about stability."

MT

- Women Build Homeowner

"If you work hard for what you want, sky’s the limit — because women can do anything they put their minds to."

Sharae Bandy

- Women Build Homeowner

"I just want the benefits of paying my hard-earned money for something that I actually own."

Alberta Carter

- Women Build Homeowner

"I look forward to the children in the neighborhood being able to play together and having a healthy, decent neighborhood for us all."

Rosa Fregoso

- Women Build Homeowner

"A house is just a building. I’ll make it a home for my family!"

Andrian Wells

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"I had no idea I’d find out that day because I went out of town and I hadn’t heard anything, so I was like, “What’s going on? Did I not get accepted?” I even told God, ‘If somebody else really needs this home, then I’ll just figure something else out, and I’ll be okay with not getting it, even though I really wanted it.’ When I found out I was accepted, I cried so much."

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Andrian Wells

- Habitat KC Homeowner

The idea of homeownership has always been in the back of Andrian Wells’ mind, but she has never felt like she could afford her own home. Between rent increasing every year and the lack of maintenance in her current apartment, Andrian was searching for a way to own a place of her own — that’s when she found Habitat’s homeownership program.

The day Andrian found out she was accepted into the program was one to remember and she knew it was a step in the right direction.

“I had no idea I’d find out that day because I went out of town and I hadn’t heard anything, so I was like, “What’s going on? Did I not get accepted?” I even told God, ‘If somebody else really needs this home, then I’ll just figure something else out, and I’ll be okay with not getting it, even though I really wanted it.’ When I found out I was accepted, I cried so much.”

As someone who’s always wanted the stability of owning a home, the Wendell Phillips neighborhood couldn’t be a better place to provide just that. Andrian’s stepfather is the president of the Wendell Phillips Neighborhood Association, also being one reason why she was hopeful for her acceptance into the program.
“I will be living right next door to my parents, and I think this will be a really good move for my kids. My son is getting older and he doesn’t have many male influences around him, so it will be nice for him to be close to my stepdad.”

Andrian is excited to let her kids choose exactly how they want their bedrooms to be decorated. She visualizes a swinging chair on her front porch and a velvet couch in her living room.

“I’ve never had the space for any of this. I can’t wait to have good company to celebrate me and how far I’ve come. I know that when I have my new home, I can get out of my comfort zone to host family during the holidays.”

Elisha Mutarahaza

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"Raising eight children can be challenging living in a three-bedroom apartment. Imagine yourself in this space with 10 people —it is too tight."

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Elisha Mutarahaza

- Habitat KC Homeowner

After moving to the United States in 2016, Elisha Mutarahaza knew that homeownership would help build a better life for his family.

“Raising eight children can be challenging living in a three-bedroom apartment. Imagine yourself in this space with 10 people —it is too tight.”

Elisha dreams of having a stable place for his children to play and grow their lives. With the constant rise of rent, his family has struggled to find a greater opportunity that would allow them to make this dream a reality.

“I asked my friend, how can I have a house? Knowing that my friend is a Habitat homeowner, he gave us the number and the website to find more information.”

After completing an application for Habitat’s Homeownership Program, Elisha’s family was selected for a brand new five-bedroom home with a basement, garage, and large backyard.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” said Elisha. “Knowing that my children will get to decorate their own bedrooms makes my family feel free. We are so happy and excited.”

Elisha hopes to get the word out that Habitat for Humanity is changing his family’s life, and he thanks the volunteers and donors who are working to build his family’s future.

Bill Cole

- Home Preservation Project

"I didn't know that they worked on houses, I thought they just built houses. I had wood rot everywhere ... they replaced all the rotten siding, and the paint made it look like a brand new home."

Michelle Grado

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"I believe that having stability is one major key in having a healthy life. I want to give them [her children] a place to make memories, have a stable place to grow, and live a comfortable life."

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Michelle Grado

- Habitat KC Homeowner

As a mother of three who values stability, creativity, and health — Michelle is more ready than ever to build a brighter future for her family.

“I’m doing this for my children. I believe that having stability is one major key in having a healthy life. I want to give them a place to make memories, have a stable place to grow, and live a comfortable life.”

The 3 bedroom house they currently share with Michelle’s mother is cramped and doesn’t provide a lot of room for mobility.

“My mother and I are best friends and I am so thankful for everything she’s done to help, but I want her to have her peace and freedom to enjoy retirement,” said Michelle.

When Michelle first got her acceptance letter, she still had a thought in the back of her mind that something could go wrong. But she didn’t let that stop her dream of creating a stable place for her family to grow.

“It’s mind-blowing that I get to help build my own home. Every step of the way, it becomes more real.”

Looking forward to the day she receives her keys, Michelle says that she can’t wait to have her family over for a nice dinner.

“Family gatherings mean a lot to us, and it will be a whole different type of pride and happiness to be able to say, ‘Okay, my family is coming to my house today.’”

Above all else, Michelle says she is most excited to provide her children with a creative outlet for artwork and to buy them instruments so they can learn and practice freely in a safe space.

“I believe that homeownership will teach my children responsibility, pride in ownership and that working towards a goal can be hard — but worth it!”

Jannetta Garrett

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"I’m through with paying rent. The cost is always going up and you’re not getting anything for it, but when I move into the home that I’ve built, there are dreams that I want to do. I’ve got big plans to paint and decorate and really make it my own."

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Jannetta Garrett

- Habitat KC Homeowner

After years of spending money on rent and feeling she had little to show for it, Jannetta Garrett is building a healthy and safe home for her family.
“Where we live now has a lot of problems. The roof has caved in six times. It’s drafty and poorly insulated. My bathroom pipes freeze every time it’s below 30 degrees, so I have to crawl under the house with a hairdryer to thaw them. If I waited for the landlord, it would be days before he’d fix it.”

On top of the high energy bills and ever-increasing rent, Jannetta says her current home is too small to fit her family’s needs. Her grandchildren, who visit on the weekends, don’t have room to play, and there is no space for her mother, for who Jannetta provides daily care.

“I go to my mother’s twice a day, seven days a week to help her, and twice a week we go to dialysis. My mother lives on the third floor and the elevator breaks down pretty frequently, so we have to call the fire department to help her get down the stairs; otherwise, she’d be stuck there for days. But once my home is finished, she’ll move in with me, and it will be a lot easier for the both of us.”

Looking forward to the day she receives her keys, Jannetta says the thing she’s most excited about is to stop paying rent and to live in a place that is entirely her own.

“I’m through with paying rent. The cost is always going up and you’re not getting anything for it, but when I move into the home that I’ve built, there are dreams that I want to do. I’ve got big plans to paint and decorate and really make it my own.”

Marlon Toledo

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"We’ve probably lived in 10 houses in the last 15 years. I’m just ready to provide my children with a home where they can have their own space to express themselves."

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Marlon Toledo

- Habitat KC Homeowner

After years of moving, Marlon Toledo and his family are finally getting to live out their dream of owning a safe and stable home through Habitat KC’s affordable homeownership program.

“We’ve probably lived in 10 houses in the last 15 years’’ said Marlon. “I’m just ready to provide my children with a home where they can have their own space to express themselves.”

Family is everything for Marlon, and when finding out that he was going to become a homeowner, he shared that it was a very emotional experience.
“I was almost in shock. It was hard to process the information. It’s crazy to think that this is real and I don’t have to go back to Mexico because I am able to build a foundation for my family right here in Kansas City.”

As Marlon looks ahead, the future brings hope and family traditions. Marlon plans to re-establish a tradition from his own childhood.
“I want to have a garden for my family to grow our own food — maybe even a mini farm with chickens. In Mexico, I grew up on a way of sustainable living, and I want to share and build that bond with my children.”

Wade Wiederhold

- Veterans Build Homeowner

"Living in a home where you're stressed, and every time it rains you have to put buckets out and clean up. It's an enormous relief to have it taken care of. "

Anjeanette White

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"I’m looking forward to sitting in my living room and having my own home, to putting my key in my door, turn that lock and knowing, ‘This is mine’."

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Anjeanette White

- Habitat KC Homeowner

Anjeanette knows that homeownership through Habitat KC is her best opportunity to build stability for herself and her three grandchildren she cares for.

A former addict, Anjeanette has struggled with homelessness as she battled substance abuse for years. A battle that would eventually force her to leave her family in Kansas City and move to Georgia in an effort to break her cycle of addiction.

“When I went to Georgia, I cleaned up,” Anjeanette said. “I got into a program and learned how to stay clean. I needed help and God used people in Georgia to show me how to get better.”

Now, 13 years sober and once again living in Kansas City, Anjeanette works as a custodian to support her three grandchildren who live with her in her sister’s home. She says that her sister, who is also a Habitat homeowner, has been a huge support for her and was the first person to encourage her to apply to Habitat KC.

Anjeanette considered applying for a home of her own but was hesitant. She was concerned that at 55 years old, it would be hard for her to complete the sweat equity hours needed to fulfill her partnership or meet the financial requirements. However, after living in a Habitat home and experiencing the peace and stability it brought to her family, Anjeanette made a commitment to build a home of her own so that her grandchildren would have the space they need to grow and thrive.

“I’m excited because it’s a place that will give us security,” Anjeanette said. “In my heart, I believe it will bring our family together. It will be a place that is ours, a place to go home to. I’m thankful that I can give that to them.”

Now, as she works on her sweat equity hours, Anjeanette thinks a lot about how far she has come. After relying on the help of others for years while she struggled with homelessness and addiction, she now has the chance to give back and build a better life for herself and her grandchildren.

Above all else, Anjeanette says she is excited to build a place of stability, a place that will always be hers.

“I’m looking forward to sitting in my living room and having my own home, to putting my key in my door, turn that lock and knowing, ‘This is mine’.”

Tianna and Michael

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"They are overjoyed. They know that when we have our own house, they’ll have their own rooms. They can’t wait to decorate them. One of my daughters wants a Minnie Mouse room and the other wants a rainbow unicorn room."

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Tianna and Michael

- Habitat KC Homeowner

Tianna and Michael know that their growing family needs space to thrive. They’ve outgrown their old two-bedroom home, but space is just one of the reasons they decided to build their future with Habitat KC.

“Our neighborhood is bad. There are frequent shootings, and it’s just not a safe place for our kids,” said Michael. “We like to be outside and we want to feel connected to our neighbors. Where we are now just isn’t a place where we can do that.”

Now, as Habitat homeowners, Tianna and Michael have built an affordable home where each of their three children will have their own bedroom.
“They are overjoyed. They know that when we have our own house, they’ll have their own rooms. They can’t wait to decorate them. One of my daughters wants a Minnie Mouse room and the other wants a rainbow unicorn room,” said Michael

And because they’ve built in a safe and connected neighborhood, they say they’re more comfortable being a part of the community and are excited to walk with their children to the park at the end of their new block.

Andrew Watson

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"It may not seem like it’s a lot, the mortgage being no interest, but it’s everything."

Juan and Zulema Ramos

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"I want to still volunteer because I can help others, too. I can tell friends who need a house to go apply and volunteer. We’re going to be involved with Habitat for a long time."

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Juan and Zulema Ramos

- Habitat KC Homeowner

When Juan and Zulema Ramos had their third child, they knew it was time for a home of their own.

The two-bedroom house they shared with Juan’s father was already cramped for their family, and despite saving up for a place of their own, it still wasn’t enough.

But Juan’s sister, Paulina, had an idea: She suggested he apply for a home through Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City. Paulina herself was a Habitat homeowner, and Juan had helped her build that home the year before.

“I didn’t think I would qualify but she convinced me to give it a shot,” Juan said.

Juan worried that if they were selected, his family would have to leave their neighborhood, where they were surrounded by friends and family.

After completing an application with a Habitat KC Homeowner Services coordinator, the family was selected for a large, newly remodeled three-bedroom home with a basement, attached garage, large backyard and a location that couldn’t be beaten: their neighborhood, just two blocks from their old house.

Staying in the neighborhood meant that not only could they be close to friends and family, but Juan and his father could start their dream of a father-son business of car and furniture upholstery.

Before they could purchase the home, Juan and Zulema needed to complete “sweat equity” — what Habitat for Humanity calls volunteer hours — and financial education classes.

The couple reached out to their friends and family and asked them for help completing the hours. Juan also called in a favor from his sister who he had helped a year before.

“I called Paulina and said, ‘Hey, you remember how I helped build your home?’” he joked.

“We didn’t even have to ask her,” Zulema said.

“As soon as we told her we were accepted, she signed up to volunteer.”

With the help of friends and family, they were able to complete all 350 required sweat equity hours in just four weeks.

“We’re so thankful for the home and everyone who helped us to get here,” Zulema said.

The Ramos family will move into their new home in February, but they are already making plans to continue partnering with Habitat KC.

“I want to still volunteer because I can help others, too,” Juan said. “I can tell friends who need a house to go apply and volunteer. We’re going to be involved with Habitat for a long time.”

“Being here will make my dreams come true.”

Kinsey

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"My daughter draws pictures of the house all the time. She draws the whole family and the house is always there behind us."

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Kinsey

- Habitat KC Homeowner

When a bat infestation was discovered in Andrea’ s apartment, she knew she had to find a better home for herself and her two children.

“It was so bad,” Andrea said. “One night, I woke up to a bat flying around in our apartment and later I found one in my son’s bed when I was putting him down for a nap.”

Concerned about their health and safety, Andrea contacted her landlord but was told they were not willing to help because it was too expensive to remove the bats. To make the situation even worse, Andrea, her son, and her daughter had to go through an expensive and painful round of rabies vaccines to ensure they had not been infected by the infestation.

“My landlord wouldn’t do anything to help,” Andrea said. “They gave me a plastic cup and a lid and told me to catch the bats myself.”

Eventually, she was able to move to another apartment but the experience made her realize that it was time for her to build strength, stability and self-reliance for her family. She began searching for a home to purchase but was unable to find one large enough for her family.

“I couldn’t afford anything,” Andrea said. “And what I could afford was too small or wasn’t in a safe neighborhood.”

It was Andrea’s friend, a Habitat homeowner, who suggested that she call Habitat KC and ask about the Affordable Homeownership Program.

“When she first told me about it I asked, ‘What’s the catch?’,” Andrea said. “At first I thought the application process was too complicated but once I started, it was so easy. I don’t know why I waited so long.”

Now in the Affordable Homeownership Program, Andrea will soon start construction on her new home. After a lifetime of rising rental costs and surviving an abusive relationship, she now has the chance to build a safe, healthy home for herself and her children.

Her children, currently sharing a bedroom, are looking forward to having a space to call their own. Her son wants a basketball goal and her daughter wants room to dance and a place for a puppy. Andrea is looking forward to going back to school with the money she will now save thanks to an affordable Habitat KC mortgage.

“They ask about their new home every day,” Andrea said. “My daughter draws pictures of the house all the time. She draws the whole family and the house is always there behind us.”

With Habitat KC, Andrea is putting the past behind her and building a brighter future for herself and her family.

“I always had a dream to own a home and I always wanted to build one. Now I’m doing just that.”

Ivory

- Rock the Block Homeowner

"My wife and I have been needing our house painted for a long time, but we couldn't do it on our own. I can’t say the words for what it means. For someone to knock on our door, then come out and get it done for us in a day is a blessing. Thank God."

Leslie Williams

- Pride Build Homeowner

"I want to put down roots in my community. I can't wait to meet my neighbors. "

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Leslie Williams

- Pride Build Homeowner

Leslie Williams has fond memories of growing up and visiting her grandmother in Kansas City.

Her grandma owned a Habitat house. But it wasn’t just a Habitat house; it was a source of community. Leslie remembers Habitat volunteers building her grandmother’s home and barbecuing with her family. This heartening community of helpers and homeowners was strikingly different from Leslie’s immediate family’s housing experience.

Leslie’s family didn’t own a home until she was 18 years old. They moved around a lot because rent was always too expensive. Consequently, Leslie was unable to foster relationships with her neighbors. Yet, communal interactions at her grandmother’s at a young age inspired Leslie to apply for a Habitat home. She was accepted into the affordable homeownership program in March 2016.

A lot has changed since those early barbecue days. Leslie is now a mother of twin 14-year-old boys. She has worked hard to establish a career with the US Postal Service—seven years in the making. Yet one thing remains constant: Leslie still aches to put down roots in an uplifting community. She’s excited to move into her home and meet the families next door. She has already actively worked towards revitalizing her neighborhood by participating in neighborhood cleanups.

The rooms in Leslie’s house will most likely smell of Leslie’s signature lasagna. She looks forward to experimenting with her favorite Mexican and Italian dishes in her new kitchen. Given her strong sense of community, she is sure to share a bite.

Sam Ruggles

- Pride Build Homeowner

"What I was most excited about for Pride Build is making my house look like a place that you would want to come visit. I moved in(to this house) in late 2019 … In 2020, COVID hit. That’s when I retired. Then in 2021, cancer hit. That took the wind out of me for all of 2021 and most of 2022. So in 2023, I’m really looking forward to a new beginning, and this Pride Build actually helps. It helps a lot."

Jermonica

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"One of the most important things I've learned from Habitat is helping others."

Charice Holtsclaw

- Veterans Build Homeowner

"Everyone turned over every stone to make sure it happened, and I felt really supported. It was very hope giving. "

LaShonda

- Habitat KC Homeowner

"My number one thing is being the best mom I can be and I feel like giving my kids a house will start a very good foundation. Home is love. It's where families are. It's where we sleep at the end of the night and talk about the day's accomplishments. It's where my son will bring his friends and be proud to say, 'this is my room.' "

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