"What can a parent do to improve their child's life? I think that this home will be a legacy I leave for my children. It will be a foundation for them to build their futures on."
A Habitat for Humanity house starts with the families who partner with us to build or improve a place they can call home. Families like Dennis and his 15 year old son, Michael.
If there was one word to describe Dennis and his son, Michael's housing experience over the last several years, it would be unstable. Though the Army Veteran father has continually tried his best to provide his family with stability, over and over, they have found themselves unsafe and noisy neighborhoods where gang and drug violence were always present. Dennis knew that his son Michael needed a better environment to thrive in. Over the last couple of years, the father and son duo have moved too many times to count. Unfortunately, the noise, chaos, drama, and worries never stopped. It has become very rare for either Dennis or Michael to get a full night's sleep which has had major negative affects on their health. They are anxious for the peace, safety, and stability that will come with having a home of their own.
“I came from a single parent household. My mother raised me on her own at right around Michael’s age and up. She taught me the survival skills I needed in life, like cooking and cleaning, and I began working at a very early age to help support my family. When I was around 23 I first enlisted in the Army because I knew that I would be able to support myself at that point. Now that both of my parents are deceased, I’ve realized that it pushes you closer to God. At the end of the day, that’s all you have is God. And that is something I always want my son to know, that God will always be there for him.”
For a long time, the relationship between father and son was denied. Since the day Dennis was able to gain custody of his son, he vowed to let Michael know daily how important and loved he is. Michael now a thriving 15 year old-his behavior and health issues have decreased immensely and most importantly, he has regained his faith and hope in what the future holds.
Now that they have the opportunity to rebuild their relationship, Michael and Dennis make it a point to spend time outdoors each week to decompress and enjoy one another’s company. They go for walks at least 3 times a week and Michael is learning how to become a navigator on their adventures. Michael loves to play basketball and Dennis is his biggest fan.
"It’s been amazing to see that there are other people out there coming from similar circumstances and have the same goals as me and want to achieve them just as badly as I do.
I am in awe that there are so many people like me who are overcoming their obstacles so that they can work for a piece of the American pie-
a home of their own. I had the chance to participate in the Christmas parade this year with Sumter Habitat for Humanity and as I was watching the young kids look at the tiny house (float) it was as if I was watching Michael look at his own home with so much joy and excitement. Having so many people come together to help us build that dream is a true blessing."
South Carolina REALTORS® (SCR) and Sumter Habitat for Humanity are excited to help fulfill the dream of homeownership for Dennis and Michael through their partnership.Thanks to SCR's generous sponsorship of this year's Veteran Build and Dennis' hard work and determination, he will be able to pass on his legacy.
The passion and drive REALTORS® have for helping veteran families build the foundation upon which their futures can grow is amazing. We are excited to work with them on this project.
Follow SCR throughout the build by liking its Facebook page at http://facebook.com/screaltors and using the hashtags #RealtorsMakeADifference #RealtorsCare #SCrealtors.
The Veteran Build kicked off construction this April! Check out this video courtesy of The Sumter Daily Item highlighting our Future Homeowner and the South Carolina Association of REALTORS Executive team!
Be sure to follow Sumter Habitat for Humanity on Facebook for updates, stories, and more about our upcoming Veteran Build 2018!
#homeownership #veteranbuild #affordablehousing #HabitatSumter #homeownerstories