Lola Joiner- one year of homeownership.

Lola Joiner, Habitat Homeowner Since Sept. 9, 2015

After applying three different times, Lola’s journey started with Habitat in 2014. She has now been a homeowner for one year, making the long process all worth it.

“I was tired of paying rent and needed a backyard for my grandkids and a place that was big enough for my family to come together,” said Lola.

Lola was a single parent who is now a grandma to four grandchildren. Her family comes over often to enjoy the backyard that is big enough for all her grandchildren.

“I am able to have my family gathered together in the summertime for barbequing and watching the kids run around and play,” said Lola.

Having been through the program Lola says that you really need to be patient and open-minded.

“The homeownership program Habitat offers is awesome. Without Habitat some of us wouldn’t be able to afford a conventional loan. I’ve been promoting Habitat like mad to family, friends, anyone that wants to hear about it!” said Lola.

Mamie Clark- Anderson- one year of homeownership.

Mamie Clark-Anderson, Habitat Homeowner Since June 29, 2015

Since retiring from Washtenaw County 14A District Court after 35 years of service, Mamie has been enjoying her time with her Habitat home. She closed on her home at 1287 Hunter Ave., Ypsilanti on June 29, 2015.

“It’s mine and I know when I come in the door things are just the way that I left them,” said Mamie.

The first house that she saw through Habitat she thought it was ready for someone to move in immediately and this was before the renovation process! Habitat tore out the carpets and the dry wall and found that there was mold inside.

“I was shocked that people buy these houses and they are not really ready. You wouldn’t have ever known! Working with Habitat gave me a different eye looking for things when you are buying a home. That’s what I love about Habitat,” said Mamie.

One of her favorite things about her home is that she can pull into the drive way and know it’s hers, she can do all the landscaping she wants, and she has more than enough space for herself. Congratulations Mamie on one year of homeownership!


C.J. Butcher Closed On His Habitat Home!

[Blog by Sophia Williams, Development Associate, Special Events & Marketing]

Habitat has another homeowner that closed on their home! As of yesterday, C.J. Butcher is the proud homeowner of 124 Kansas Ave., Ypsilanti 48198.

Before starting his journey with Habitat, C.J. rented for a few years moving from one apartment to another.

“My rent was really expensive. The one I rented just before this had bed bugs when I moved in. I can’t wait to get out,” said C.J.

While renting, C.J. never decorated or really rooted down anywhere. He didn’t want to waste investing his time and money into an apartment that in the end wasn’t really his.

“I had a friend tell me, ‘you can spend your money, or you can invest your money.’ Owning a home is absolutely an investment of your money,” said C.J.

C.J. can now rest easy knowing that he has somewhere that is safe, stable, and a place to call his own.

“It’s a peace of mind owning a home. Everything is calm. I’ve had roommates in the past and now I don’t have to have any roommates! Just owning something is so great. It’s a starting point, a reference point where I can spring board to starting a new life,” said C.J.

One of the things he is looking forward to most is the garden he is going to start. He is anxious to begin planting vegetables that will put his cooking skills to good use. He is also planning to have a small pond like environment for his turtle, Shellanda.

Along with his hobbies of cooking and working on small engines, C.J. is also a dedicated student with a 3.7 GPA enrolled year round. He is currently working on his Associates in Applied Science in Healthcare Program Preparation at WCC.

C.J.’s accomplishment of homeownership is one that was earned through Habitat. He put in over 250 sweat equity hours, a $1,000 down payment, and is paying back a 0% interest mortgage. Congratulations, C.J.!

“Everybody at Habitat was just good people, just so willing to help and truly authentic. I’m glad to meet everyone that I did through Habitat,” said C.J.

Thank you, to everyone who volunteered, donated, or supported the renovation of C.J.’s home in any way. We are so grateful for our supporters. Our mission of providing affordable homeownership wouldn’t be possible without you!

A Home That Is All Her Own


[Blog by Sophia Williams, Development Associate, Special Events & Marketing]

Paula Porter is a spunky, full hearted woman who now has a place to call her own. Just yesterday she closed on her Habitat home at 570 Greenlawn  Ave., Ypsilanti 48198.

Before Paula began this six month journey she didn’t realize that Habitat was an option for her. She had volunteered with Habitat through high school but associated it with families, not a single lady like herself. After hearing about another single future Habitat homeowner, CJ Butcher, she decided to apply. These six months have been a whirlwind for this independent woman but one that she says is completely worth it.

“Looking back on it, now that it’s finished, it really wasn’t that hard. Given what you are accomplishing it is worth the struggle,” said Paula.

Putting in her sweat equity hours was one of the largest obstacles Paula had to accomplish. She works six days a week in retail so motivating herself to do construction hours on her day off was an understandable hurdle. Paula’s dedication has now brought her to the day she has been waiting for, the day she closes on her home.

In the beginning of the year Paula was just starting to think about homeownership. “My mother is getting older and the plan has always been, as long as there aren’t any huge medical issues I was going to take her in rather than send her anywhere. It was time to start planning,” said Paula.

Before Habitat, Paula had lived with her mother for a number of years making more financial sense after college. While in college Paula lived in a number of different apartments including in a tiny 220 sq ft apartment where her bed was 5 ft away from her noisy fridge. Her mortgage that she will pay for her home is about $100 less than rent at her previous apartment.

“If you were to ask me in March if I were to ever own a home I’d probably laugh. Now it’s here and I’m freaking out. I’m happy,” said Paula.



Certificate of Appreciation Award from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office

Thank you, to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, for coming out to volunteer and presenting Habitat with the Certificate of Appreciation Award! We are so grateful for our partnership with them and are looking forward to improving even more homes in Washtenaw County.

[Speech from Derrick Jackson, Director of Community Engagement at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office]

For those who do not know, Habitat for Humanity works to create homeowners in some of our struggling neighborhoods. On some streets that our deputies patrol we have 80% of the homes that are rental properties. And although we know there is nothing wrong with renters we do know that a lack of connectedness and ownership in the community can create all kind of problems. Habitat helps by working with residents so that they can build towards owning their own home and becoming great neighbors. In essence, they put their money and sweat equity behind building strong and sustainable communities. They purchase a home that has been vacant, dilapidated, and a long time eye sore and through volunteers, donations and a lot of sweat, rebuild every facet of that structure to create a home for a family.

Since 2013, just in the Gault Village and West Willow neighborhoods, Habitat has bought, renovated, and sold 41 homes to new homeowners. I’m happy to say that this year Habitat allowed our staff to come out and help in the demolition and rebuild of one of those homes. To see what had been a nuisance property built up into a beautiful home and to see a family receive their keys is truly a wonderful experience. But they do much more than that. They also help those homeowners who have been living in the neighborhood. They did 431 Home Improvements which include things like replacing a roof, critical repairs for veterans, replacing furnaces, siding, windows, and replacing old energy guzzling refrigerators. In partnership with Lowe’s, Habitat mobilized neighbors to rebuild the privacy fence along McCartney, something that was an eyesore for every person passing by the community. As we heard last year, they helped our very own Julia work towards purchasing her home. Simply put, they do amazing work to literally rebuild our neighborhoods.

This is not new work for them, but because of their recent efforts in specific neighborhoods. Because of their impact on home ownership, neighborhood revitalization, and subsequent crime fighting we recognize them for this effort.


Family and community mean a great deal to me. Every day I strive to help improve community as well as peoples’ lives that reside in our communities. I am very grateful that God blessed me through Habitat for Humanity to be able to become a home owner in the community that I strive to improve!

– Julia Hordge, Habitat Homeowner and Certified Peer Support Specialist Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office