Ever since she was a little girl, Tamekia dreamed of owning her own home.
As the single mother of two girls, Aaniyah and Riora, she knew it was time to get her growing family into a home they could call their own. She quickly began the application process for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to working through the homeownership program, Tamekia is also a care provider for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Helping people with disabilities has been a rewarding experience for Tamekia. She assists them with basic household tasks, like cooking and cleaning. Her favorite part of the job is “taking clients out and teaching them to be independent.” She teaches her clients the skills they need to be self-reliant, such as buying groceries and paying for items.
Even though Tamekia and her children are such a close-knit family, it is hard for them to live in a two-bedroom apartment. Aaniyah, 8, says that sharing a bedroom with her one-year-old sister is tough. She often sleeps in other rooms of the apartment at night so that the two do not disturb each other. Tamekia and her girls love to cook, but their small apartment is not big enough for them to all be in the kitchen together. They look forward to having a home where they can spend more quality time as a family.
When asked what Knoxville Habitat means to her, she says that it is “everything to be able to know that my kids look up to me.” She wants them to know that if they work hard, they will be able to achieve whatever they want in life. She enjoys the budget classes that are a part of her 500 hours of “sweat equity,” saying that they help her “cut spending on materialistic things and learn to pay her bills before anything else.”
Tamekia is actively building a stable future for herself and her family. She is currently enrolled in a community college to fulfill her dream of becoming a registered nurse. She also plans to get involved with helping children once she is established in her new home. She plans to start foster parenting classes later this year and is considering opening her home to a child on weekends. Aaniyah is supportive of this idea, explaining that she is excited to have someone closer to her age to play with.
Tamekia looks forward to her children growing up in her safe and affordable Habitat home. Aaniyah is excited to paint and decorate her “princess” room and is also thankful that her baby sister will have her own room to play in. Little Riora, who will start walking soon, will have a safe place in her new home to run and play.