“I get really scared to take my daughters outside.”
As Angelique recounts a recent shooting in her neighborhood that left a small child severely injured, she expresses fear for the safety of her own small children. Based on this and other frightening experiences, this mom of two knew it was time for a change.
Angelique is a U.S. Navy veteran. In high school, she devoted her life to ROTC and signed a military contract at 16-years-old. Shortly after joining the U.S. Navy, however, she was injured in training and honorably discharged. Today, she still deals with the consequences of her injury, but the hardest part for her is not being able to continue her military service. Angelique says, “I wanted to go and serve my country. I was not able do everything I had planned.”
Despite a change of plans, Angelique thrives in her role as a mom and customer service supervisor for an online education program. She has several employees that she manages, and she juggles many responsibilities in her leadership role.
Leaving the military and her passion for service was incredibly difficult for Angelique, but now, she feels a renewed sense of purpose and joy as Dahlia and Acacia’s mother. Her life revolves around her two girls, and she loves being a mom. “I’m very grateful to be a mom, and I want my kids to grow up knowing that,” Angelique says. Her daughters are the main reason she started looking into what it takes to buy a house.
Angelique applied with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity because the rising cost of homeownership is beyond her reach. “It’s just crazy how much money you’re expected make just to have a home,” Angelique said, “Even rental prices are often unaffordable. It’s very overwhelming.”
Right now, Angelique and her girls, Dahlia and Acacia, live in a two-bedroom rental. The rental is old and in need of many updates, and their yard is filled with wasps and mosquitos that swarm around the overgrown surroundings. While Angelique does the repairs she can, the kitchen has not been taken care of by previous renters, and the floor is coming up in several places. There is a lot she cannot control in her current environment, and she is ready for a place she can make her own.
Angelique is thrilled to be building a new home for her girls with Knoxville Habitat. “I can’t wait to just sit on my porch and watch them play,” Angelique shared excitedly. At her new home, she will plant flowers, and she will find relief in the safety of her neighborhood. Angelique will have the strength and financial security to go back to school and pursue her goal of earning her nursing degree. She will have the stability of knowing her family is in their forever home, surrounded by other wonderful families in a new neighborhood.
Angelique says, “It’s not just moving into a home; it’s moving into a neighborhood and a community. If I walk outside, I can wave to people. We can get together on holidays. My girls can meet their kids and play as they get older. I’m just very thankful.”