Although she has spent her life working hard and caring for her family, Tyra never thought she would be able to afford a home. But her point-of-view changed when a coworker told her about Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.
Tyra has been employed with a large retailer since 2010, where she has worked as an associate and taken a new position as an online grocery shopper. She is the only full-time shopper on staff at her store, so she spends a lot of time helping customers with their grocery needs.
When Tyra is not working, she’s making sure the hungry in our community are fed. She volunteers at the Love Kitchen twice a week, where she serves during their weekly “farmer’s market” setup and provides lunch to those in need. Tyra’s daughter introduced her to this opportunity to give back because it goes along with how she loves helping people.
Tyra’s story of caring for others goes back to her family. At only 19, Tyra was given custody of her four brothers and sisters who were all small children at the time. She would also have three children of her own, to raise a total of seven children.
All of Tyra’s children are now grown, with her 18-year old son, Daniel, still living at home. They currently live in an apartment where she pays a monthly rent that has begun increasing each year.
But an even greater concern is how she has begun hearing constant gunshots in the area. Tyra says, “My first thought every time I hear gunshots (and Daniel is not home) is ‘where is my son’?” She desperately wants, needs and deserves to live in a home where she can feel at peace and provide her son with a safer environment, especially since he sometimes works evening hours.
When hearing about the Knoxville Habitat program, she realized it may be the opportunity she needs to find stability and a home that she’s dreamed about for so long.
“I didn’t know there was a program (like Knoxville Habitat). So when I looked into it, I was pleased to know I could actually own a home. On a regular market, we don’t make enough to buy a house.”
Since entering the Knoxville Habitat program, Tyra has been investing 500 hours of “sweat equity” through classes (including a weekly budgeting class for one year) and volunteer work. And she will soon build and purchase her home at cost, with an affordable, no-interest mortgage.
Tyra looks forward to making her future residence her “forever home” where she can enjoy her front porch, plant a garden and have a comfortable, safe home where her three grandchildren can play in the yard when they visit.
And with the help of Credit Unions Care, Tyra will make her longtime dream of homeownership a reality.