Though she lives by herself, Felicia spends her life caring for everyone around her. She grew up as the oldest of five siblings, and she became like a second mother to many of her younger siblings. She now helps care for nieces and younger siblings, regularly having family come and stay with her for extended amounts of time.
More than just in her personal life, Felicia has made a career out of caring for others. Felicia works as a community living manager for people with intellectual disabilities. The deep love and care she has for all her clients is incredible to witness. She often works over 80 hours per week, taking her clients to doctors’ appointments, keeping their houses in order, picking up their groceries and making sure they have everything they need. When one of them is hospitalized, she will even stay overnight in the hospital to make sure they are never alone or scared.
Working such long hours and constantly caring for others in her apartment, Felicia has dreamed of becoming a homeowner and having a place to call her own.
In her current apartment, Felicia lives mostly underground. After a long day of work, the last thing she wants to do is struggle for parking and then climb downstairs from the parking lot to get to her apartment entrance. There have also been problems with car break-ins in her apartment complex. After her car was broken into, she went to the apartment office and alerted them of the situation. They responded by saying they are aware cars have been getting broken into, but they did nothing else to help her or to alert other residents of the problem. This, along with the regularly rising rental prices has made Felicia ready to move on from apartment living. Felicia said, “Every time I pay my rent, I’m just thinking ‘Wow, I’m paying all this money for something that’s not even mine.’”
For several years now, Felicia has been taking the steps to become a homeowner. In 2020 she took homeownership classes and met regularly with a realtor to find a house. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the housing prices skyrocketed, and homeownership was once again out of her reach. The houses she once could have afforded were now $70,000 over her budget. While it was her dream to own a home, she knew it wasn’t right to stretch her income too far and put herself in a dangerous financial situation by trying to buy a house she couldn’t really afford.
Felicia decided to partner with Knoxville Habitat because she knew it would be an affordable way to build and purchase her first home. Felicia is ready to start a family, and she is excited about the opportunity for her children to grow up in their very own home. Building her home with Knoxville Habitat will mean creating a foundation of strength, stability, and independence for the family she will have.
Felicia is so excited to become a homeowner this year in Knoxville Habitat’s new Ellen’s Glen neighborhood. She has loved getting to know her future neighbors in their homeownership classes, and she is thrilled about what this new neighborhood will represent. “Everyone is friendly and family-oriented, and that’s what I’m all about,” Felicia said, “Every time we are together it’s nothing but laughs.”
Felicia talked about her plans to plant a garden and grow produce for herself and her neighbors. She wants her home to be a place where everyone feels welcome to come and rest and feel loved. It will be a place where her family can easily come and stay with her, and where they can laugh and play games together. It will be the place where her future children will take their first steps, say their first words and eventually bring home their prom dates. This home will be her forever home.