Autumn Hale, a single mother of five children, works professionally at Sunset Hill Elementary School, and has lived in Lawrence for 30 years. Autumn has experienced a number of family difficulties in the past few years, going through a divorce, losing their family business and home as a result, and raising her five children all on her own. “I knew that I needed to provide for my kids and was finding out how hard it was to do so without any help, financial or otherwise, from their father,” she says, “and I struggled to be a mother, ‘father,’ friend, and counselor to them.”
With the assistance of the Lawrence Housing Authority, Autumn learned about Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, and after much thought decided to apply. “I decided I would apply for a Habitat home and get familiar with the process and people, thinking I probably would not get accepted now, but would keep trying in the future,” she says. To Autumn’s surprise, she was accepted as a Lawrence Habitat homeowner. “When I found out that my family was chosen for a Habitat house I was absolutely in shock, and extremely emotional, I could not stop smiling that entire day!” Autumn says that her selection as a Habitat homeowner felt like a dream, and she knew this opportunity was going to change their lives. “It took a huge weight off my mind knowing that I will always have a place for my kids to call home,” she says.
Autumn says that over the past few months she has worked at the Lawrence Habitat build sites, observing firsthand the amount of effort and work that goes into building a home. “The emotions that I have felt for the other Habitat families, to see their dreams coming true, has been powerful,” she says, “and it is an opportunity that my children and I are so incredibly thankful to be a part of.” Click here for more photos from the dedication ceremony.
Nail Drive and Start of Construction on Sept. 15th, 2018.
Earnestine little, pictured above with her family at their Nail Drive ceremony on Saturday, September 15th, 2018.
Earnestine is a mother of four daughters and says that there has always been one missing piece in their lives. “We do not have a home to call our own,” she says, “a place where we do not have to move from, where we can finally unpack and paint a wall […] someplace we can put our mark on it.”
Earnestine says that Lawrence Habitat “has provided me the opportunity to teach my daughters the importance of giving back to others, through the volunteer work we will be able to do at Lawrence Habitat for Humanity.”
She says that this home represents their “forever home, our safe place. This will not be a house, it will be our home. The home my daughters will be able to come back to when they have grown and moved out into the world. Where they can make and have made memories. Those same memories will remain upon the walls of our home and will be seen in the pictures we take. Lawrence Habitat for Humanity will have given us a blessing beyond words.”
Dedicated on Saturday, June 30th, 2018.
Bobbi Reid, pictured above with her daughters Raeanna and Madison, first learned about Lawrence Habitat through the Housing Authority. “We took a chance and applied for help from Lawrence Habitat, and I’m so glad now that we did,” she says.
Had it not been for Lawrence Habitat, Bobbi says that she definitely would not have been able to afford a home in Lawrence. “After getting divorced in 2012 and becoming a single mom, everything got harder,” Bobbi says. “I was in school trying to earn my Bachelor’s degree, but had to stop and work full time to support us.”
“Without Lawrence Habitat many families would never know what owning a home is like,” Bobbi says. “Because of the work Habitat does, people like my family are given an opportunity, one that they might not have ever had otherwise.” Click here for photos from the Reid family home’s dedication ceremony.
Dedicated on Saturday, April 21st, 2018.
Jennifer Coffman first became involved with Habitat in Hawaii many years ago and says she fell in love with the program. “We are so excited to be a 2018 family and have found everyone at Lawrence Habitat to be so inviting and wonderfully kind,” she says.
Jennifer says that owning their own home has always been the family’s biggest dream, and that dream is now coming true with Habitat. “Mariah and I are so grateful, excited, and proud to have been chosen as a Habitat family and for our homeownership journey to begin after so many years,” she says. “The tides are changing in our lives, and we are ready to set sail!” Click here for more photos from the Coffman/Ivie ceremony.
Dedicated on Saturday, January 20th, 2o17.
Andy and Larissa are very excited at the opportunity to become Habitat homeowners, allowing them an affordable chance for housing and raising their growing family, as well as the ability to have an all-electric house with the potential for being solar powered one day.
Andy works professionally full-time in Topeka and spends plenty of his free time working with other local non-profit service organizations, in addition to volunteering on boards and committees. Larissa manages their household and is very involved with the children’s education and extracurricular activities. Their older children are enrolled in a virtual public school, and Larissa is their “Learning Coach” during the school year.
Andy and Larissa recently began to feel the need to move from their small, older duplex rental into a newer house, but discovered they could not afford to rent or buy a larger house in the Lawrence area. “I love Lawrence,” Andy said. “The thought of having to leave it because we couldn’t find affordable housing was really upsetting.” Andy also shared that he and his family are interested in the Lawrence community, and according to Andy, Lawrence is “the best place to live and raise kids in Kansas.” Click here for more photos from the Brown family dedication ceremony.
Dedicated on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017.
Meet Rebecca Esparza, a mother of five. Rebecca has experienced a long and winding road in becoming a Habitat homeowner. She moved to Lawrence with her family almost eight years ago, and overcame a number of hurdles in life and periods of homelessness, eventually becoming a non-traditional student at KU, a Family Promise graduate, and recently earning a Master’s degree. Click here to read more about Rebecca and her family.
Dedication held on Saturday, March 11th, 2017.
Dedication on Saturday, December 17th, 2016.
Dedication on Saturday, February 25th, 2017.