“I would say ever since we started with Habitat, we can see a big financial change—they have helped a lot. We are only about three classes into the Money Management Seminar and we can already see a difference.”
Every Homeowner Has a Story
Future Habitat Homeowners
McKenzie and D’zyre
McKenzie, or Kenzie, and D’zyre are a picture-perfect family with 2-year-old son, Alius, and dog, Gypsy. The family enjoys being outside and spending quality time going on walks together to enjoy the sunshine. Kenzie works at the Shoe Carnival Distribution Center in town and D’zyre is working his way through the ranks at UPS. Both are originally from Evansville and currently living in a 2-bedroom apartment. Kenzie says, “It’s alright… but there’s no outdoor space, [we] don’t even have a balcony.” Wanting room to grow and the stability and security a family home can bring, D’zyre introduced Kenzie to the idea of building a Habitat home. He was familiar with the program because two members of his family had also gone through Habitat’s homeownership program. The first time they applied, the couple was denied, but, Kenzie explains, “The second time was perfect. We were actually prepared and had everything ready, and we made sure our credit was perfect.”
Since they began their journey with Habitat, the couple has been hard at work juggling their jobs, raising Alius and getting their 300 hours of sweat equity completed. D’zyre has found he enjoys going to the build sites and helping out there. Kenzie admits that construction is fairly outside of her comfort zone despite the things her father taught her growing up, but she is still learning a lot. The most impactful experience for her has been building relationships along the way. She explains, “Meeting the new people has been big… we have met so many super nice and helpful people. The volunteers and the staff but also the other [homeowners] in the program.” She adds that there has also been a big financial impact on their little family since they began Habitat’s homeownership program. “I would say ever since we started with Habitat, we can see a big financial change—they have helped a lot. We are only about three classes into the Money Management Seminar and we can already see a difference.”
Kenzie and D’zyre are now less than 10 hours away from being able to select the lot their home will stand on, and they can envision their future more clearly than ever. They can imagine themselves sitting on their porch, enjoying a day of beautiful weather, or playing in their spacious, securely fenced-in backyard—the outdoor space is the most exciting for both of them. They are also hopeful that the money they will be able to save through their 0% interest mortgage and low utility bills in their new home will mean they can go on their first family vacation to California.
Kenzie and D’zyre have been working hard to make their dreams of homeownership a reality, but they are also very thankful for the folks who are putting in hundreds of combined hours of work volunteering on their home. “I am very grateful for all the volunteers are doing…” Kenzie says. “What they do is just extremely awesome. It’s so nice that they dedicate themselves to doing this.” They have also formed a good relationship with Family Services Director, Birdie. “She’s been very supportive. She’s always right there for us,” they explain.
To those considering applying or who have been denied previously, Kenzie says, don’t give up. “Just because you don’t get approved the first time, don’t let it stop you from applying again. I would definitely say it’s a lot of work at the beginning but just keep pushing through and in the end, it will all be worth it.”