“The perception of Habitat is very misunderstood.  People think that they just give you a house, but once I got into the program I saw what it really takes … 300 hours of sweat equity, volunteering at the ReStore, homeowner classes, and paying back an affordable mortgage.  It can be overwhelming … especially with all of my own struggles and with everything I have going on with work.  However, the people at Habitat really care.  Everyone is so upbeat and encouraging.  It has rubbed off on me!   I’ve found myself more caring, and I’ve become more involved.  It’s God at work.”

Every Homeowner Has a Story

Future Habitat Homeowner
Johnte’ H.

Johnte’ H. is a community-oriented individual, who works hard to make a lasting impact with the kids he works with and coaches.  Johnte’ works at the Evansville Rescue Mission Youth Care Center as a lead behavior technician.  He states, “It’s a secure, live-in facility for children who are too young to go to jail.  I work first shift, and I get the kids out for education and help the teacher with what she needs.  I try to rehabilitate the kids to help them get their life on track.  It’s challenging and hard work, but it’s rewarding to see them succeed … to bounce back from adversity and move forward.  You never know how much they respect you or listen to you until you see them outside the center in the community.” 

Johnte’ also works at Bosse High School as the assistant coach on the football and basketball teams.  Johnte’ states, “I love coaching.  I’ve been coaching for about 6-7 years (paid), but I’ve really been coaching since my youngest brother was old enough to take directions.  Sports play a big part in my life and how I conduct myself.”  He adds, “I love working with kids!  We may all come from different walks of life, but we all need help along the journey; some more than others.  I try to do my part to help … teaching manners, respect, and honor.  I deal with kids all day every day, and I use sports to help the kids with those lessons in life.” 

Aside from work, Johnte’ laughs and says, “I also enjoy watching sports!  I find a lot of peace in reading when I have time and eating.  But mostly, I just like helping in the community.  On my days off, I’m gonna be helping somebody.” 

Johnte’ currently lives with his mom in a 3-bedroom house.  He says, “Sharing a place can be hard, but we make it work.  I help my mom take care of things, and she helps motivate me.”  He goes on to say, “I’ve been living there my whole life, and I’m at the age that I’m ready and need my own space.  It’s time to jump out and do it on my own.”

Johnte’ learned about the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program through his aunt who is a Homeowner Advocate.  He says, “She mentioned it to me one day; I thought on it, and it made sense.  My mom also encouraged me to go for it and better myself, so I took the opportunity and applied.  Soon after, Habitat reached out to me, and then I met Miss Susan.” 

“Susan encouraged me and helped me do what I needed to do to get accepted into the program.  To have this opportunity, I am very grateful and humbled; I am going to see it through.  I don’t want to let people down.  I’m going to become a homeowner … mainly for myself, but secondly for Susan and her commitment to helping others.  I want to work as hard on myself as she did.  I owe it to her.  Her motivation and communication was very regular … ‘You do it for you!’” 

“The perception of Habitat is very misunderstood.  People think that they just give you a house, but once I got into the program I saw what it really takes … 300 hours of sweat equity, volunteering at the ReStore, homeowner classes, and paying back an affordable mortgage.  It can be overwhelming … especially with all of my own struggles and with everything I have going on with work.  However, the people at Habitat really care.  Everyone is so upbeat and encouraging.  It has rubbed off on me!   I’ve found myself more caring, and I’ve become more involved.  It’s God at work.  I want to go to other people’s houses and help build or pick up trash … whatever needs to be done.  Volunteering is contagious!  People put what they have going on in their personal lives down, come to a site, and smile.  They want to help out and build a home.  It makes you want to help.  It makes your heart bigger and overflow.  I thank them; I can’t thank them enough.” 

“This Habitat house will allow me to have my own space.  It’s something that I can call my own and something I can give to my kids down the way.  This home is going to allow me to move forward with my life.”  He goes on to say, “This house will also take a huge relief off of my mom and allow her to have her own space.” 

“I can only imagine what it will be like to have my own home … I’m going to get to decorate it how I want, mow my own lawn, take care of the house, and learn how to cook better; it will be an adventure at the new home!”  Johnte’ chuckles and adds, “I’m going to be proud to get my own utility bills!  And, at the end of the day, when I’m looking at the man in the mirror, I can tell him that, ‘This is yours.’” 

“To everyone who helps with Habitat … please stay with it and continue to bless people.  During these times, it is hard to have things to smile about.  You may not see it, but your work does affect people.  God is good, and these helping hands are paying it forward.”