“Every day is a journey. I have been so excited each day in the program because every day is a different adventure.”

Every Homeowner Has a Story

Future Habitat Homeowner

Amber is an upbeat, bubbly go-getter who is a devoted partner to her boyfriend of many years, Keathon, and a loving mother to their two children, Layla (7) and Keathon Jr. (3). As a family, they enjoy watching movies, taking walks at Wesselman Woods or Howell Park or riding their bikes. The family also loves Halloween and is already getting excited for the upcoming holiday, watching favorites like Beetlejuice and The Addams Family, and both kids have already picked out this year’s Halloween costumes.

Amber spends her days working in a call center helping customers. She takes pride in her job and shares that since she was a child, she’s valued hard work and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, a work ethic instilled in her by her mother. “I love my job,” she shares. “It’s so fun to get to talk to people all over the word, and each call is unique – you never know what you’re gonna get!” It’s important for her that her kids know their mother works hard to provide for them.

In the evening, she looks forward to going home and being with her family, but their current living situation is far from ideal. Amber has come a long way after years of housing instability and even homelessness, but their current rental is still small, with Layla and Keathon Jr. having to share a room, but there are other more serious issues as well. “You can see the dirt caked on the walls from where it’s getting blown up through our air vents,” Amber says. “And our electric bills there are very high. I want to be able to do more fun things with my kids, but our bills are just so high.”

Amber learned about the Habitat homeownership program through a friend who recently partnered with Habitat to build a home, and decided to take the leap and apply. Now that she’s been working with Habitat for several months and put in over 150 hours of “sweat equity,” Amber is just as enthusiastic as ever about the program. “Every day is a journey. I have been so excited each day in the program because every day is a different adventure. I’ve done my community hours helping serve food at the [Evansville Rescue] Mission and I get to give back by volunteering at the ReStore. I’m also looking forward to starting the money management classes!”

The most impactful moments in the program for Amber so far, though, have been helping build other homeowners’ houses. “The first time I was out on a construction site, I bawled my eyes out,” she states. “It doesn’t hit you until then. Being able to help on other people’s houses, you start to really feel like this is a community that has your back. I’m helping them now and I know that before long, they are gonna be helping me build my home. It’s like a family and a team.”

The end result of Amber’s hard work will be a beautiful home for her family, a place they can make their own, where they can hang family photos and decorate for the holidays. Her kids will each get their own bedroom to personalize as well, and Amber adds that Layla, who loves nature, is excited to grow fruits and vegetables in the backyard. “My mom died of a brain tumor,” Amber shares. “She rented her whole life and didn’t have a home to leave her kids when she passed. I want to make sure shelter is the last thing my kids will ever have to worry about.”

To all the donors and volunteers involved with Habitat, Amber says, “Thank you so much… I just appreciate everything [you’re] doing for my family. It means the world to us, this opportunity means everything. And I promise to keep giving back after the program.”