Despite stable employment as a medical assistant for the past eleven years, Joleen has struggled at times providing for her family of four, including daughter Ariona (13), as well as her nephews Braylon (13) and Amandeaus (10), whom she adopted in order to provide a stable home. She is now raising two teenagers and one almost-teenager in an overcrowded apartment, which can sometimes lead to tension. “It’s hard because you have to give enough attention and love to each child equally. You have to split yourself and you never have time for yourself. But everything I do today is for the betterment of my children. I want them to have a better life than I had growing up. I want to break the generational curse.”
Her children are “so excited” about their new Habitat home. “When I first told them [we were accepted into the program], I put them in a line, and then showed them a Habitat shirt, in their size, that said ‘Future Homeowner.’ Their reaction was priceless,” Joleen said. “They tell me, ‘Let’s go see the walls! Let’s say a prayer over the lot!’ They make me pass the street where our new home will be all the time. I prayed for a corner lot and that was exactly what I received. You just have to have faith.”
Joleen served as a leader by completing all of her sweat equity hours early and giving the work her all. Joleen also completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace financial education course and has started to make better financial decisions as she saves for her home. She never lost faith that one day she would attain homeownership. “Not many people realize what a blessing this is. I want to thank Habitat for the opportunity, for extending it to not only people whose houses are destroyed but to people who are bettering their lives and themselves to become homeowners. Thank you for looking out for the middle man.”
Joleen looks forward to living next to other Habitat homeowners. “As families, we worked and partnered together, and now we’ll keep our subdivision in good condition as we continue to work together.” Construction on the Dorion home began in the winter of 2015; the home dedication was held in June of 2016.