Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity dedicated their 13th house of 2020 in mid-November. The house, located on Wilmore Avenue in Euclid, is now home to Lakeesha, a 42-year-old Regional Transit Authority (RTA) worker.
“I appreciate all the good, hard, quality work everyone put into the house,” says Lakeesha. “This house is made with love, and I know it and appreciate it.”
Tired of paying high rent payments with nothing to show for it, Lakeesha finally decided she wanted more than apartment living and set out to find the right homeownership opportunity. Habitat for Humanity’s community development and financing options were the perfect fit.
Habitat homebuyers commit to working alongside community volunteers in the construction or rehabilitation of their house. Homebuyers must provide sweat equity hours, take homeowner education courses, and meet requirements of home ownership. Lakeesha, who works the second shift at RTA, volunteered 200 sweat equity hours with Habitat. More than 20 other volunteers contributed over 850 volunteer hours renovating the two-bedroom, one-bath 958 sq. ft. home.
A long-time west side resident, Lakeesha looks forward to moving closer to her mother and sister who live on the east side. With a large family that enjoys spending time together, including three brothers and three sisters, Lakeesha is looking forward to hosting her family for holidays and back yard barbeques. “I especially love the front porch and the front and back yard,” she says. “I never had the family over to my apartment because it was too small; now, I will finally be able to host,” she says excitedly.
As part of an ongoing collaborative partnership, the Cuyahoga Land Bank provided the formerly abandoned home to Habitat. “We are dedicated to making homeownership a reality for those looking to make that investment in themselves and our community,” says Gus Frangos, Cuyahoga Land Bank President and General Counsel. Habitat is a great partner in our work building economic stability in our neighborhoods.”
“It warms my heart when people go out of their way to make things better for others,” says Lakeesha. “I love when people do the right thing when no one is looking. It’s so amazing when people come together to do better and make a change. I thank them all.”