December 8, 2022
After more than 280 hours of sweat equity, homebuyer education, and one-on-one budget coaching, two local women purchased homes through Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM) with an affordable mortgage.
There was not a dry eye in the house as friends, family, and the community gathered in Columbia, TN to celebrate this milestone accomplishment for homebuyers, Nina Reyes and Linda Lemus.
Both women were presented with their mortgage certificates, keys to their homes, and gifts from staff, sponsors, and volunteers who have supported them along their journey.
The road to dedication day was certainly not easy for these two ladies. After years of relocating due to rental increases and a discouraging housing market, Nina is relieved at the stability homeownership will provide for her family. “I won’t have to bounce around from place to place anymore,” she explains.
As a single, working parent of two young children, Linda Lemus was struggling to find local housing options within her means. The HFHWM homeownership program was an opportunity to create a better path for herself and her children, Isaiah and Mya. Both children shed tears of joy seeing their own bedrooms for the very first time and look forward to celebrating the holidays together in their new home.
Linda is not the first member of the Lemus family to complete the Habitat program. Ten years ago, Linda’s brother, Frank, purchased a home for his family through HFHWM. During Linda’s ceremony, Frank took a moment to share how impactful homeownership has been, leading to better career opportunities, personal growth, and overall stability.
Joined by two generations of program participants, this dedication ceremony was a full-circle moment for the Lemus family and HFHWM, who is entering their thirtieth year of service this month.
“I joined the affiliate 10 years ago, and one of my first builds was Frank Lemus’,” notes HFHWM President & COO, Jennee Galland.
“Linda’s dedication was a really emotional one. Standing there with Frank, who is doing so well and crediting his home for his family’s stability, and Linda, who is on the cusp of reaping the many benefits of her new home, it was hard not to be moved. I found it a testament to the life-changing power of the Habitat for Humanity program and a perfect example of God’s love in action.”
The affiliate prides itself on building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Over the course of 30 years, the nonprofit has helped 300 families achieve safe, affordable housing through their homeownership and Critical Repair Programs.
“We are incredibly proud of the lasting impact of our programs, but there’s still plenty of work to be done. Many of our teachers, first responders, and valued essential workers are being priced out of the housing market and struggling to remain in the communities in which they were born and raised,” explains HFHWM CEO Kim Randell.
As housing prices continue to climb in Middle TN, the nonprofit is moving full steam ahead to meet the surging need for affordable housing. In 2023, HFHWM will break ground on a 27-home neighborhood in Columbia, TN to be built over the next three years.
During this season of giving, HFHWM asks that you consider giving the gift of a home by making a donation towards affordable housing.
Every dollar of your donation goes directly towards purchasing building materials for families like Nina and Linda.