Laquisha is a single mother, employed as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for a hospice care. A gifted caregiver, her kind and gentle spirit helps patients as they are nearing the end of their lives. She says, “It’s hard … you grow attached to (the patients).” But she likes caring for others, and the opportunity to do so makes her job rewarding.
Laquisha’s 7-year old daughter, Amani, is a “girly-girl” that loves clothes, singing and dancing. She is also a smart student that does well in school.
Since Amani was born, they have lived in the same small apartment. “It just feels so crowded,” says Laquisha.
In every major decision, Laquisha thinks first about Amani and what’s best for her future. And when she thought about where she will continue to raise her daughter, she knew she wanted more. More stability, more security, and a comfort that only homeownership can provide.
Laquisha’s mother and sister encouraged her to apply for a home with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity. Once she applied and was accepted into the program, she knew she was doing the right thing – for herself and her daughter.
To acquire the 500 hours of sweat equity that each homeowner family achieves to begin the construction and purchase of their home, Laquisha took classes that include budgeting, which helped her realize how to save more on everyday expenses. “I never realized how much money we were spending on food … now, we eat out less, and I keep track of everything we buy so I know where my money is going.”
In addition to classes, Laquisha has also helped with community work. Even Amani helped with sweat equity by making good grades on her report card.
As Laquisha looks forward to building her home, she can’t wait to move into a house that she will make a home with her daughter.
“I just want us to be somewhere where we’re happy and comfortable … and she’ll be able to look at our house and say ‘I helped with that, momma’.”