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Habitat Kent Blog

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

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     Shaun, Yvette, and their children Nyasia, (16) Shaun Jr., (13) and Tayshaun, (10) are thrilled to be moving into their Habitat home on Grand Rapids’ west side. The home build was sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Yvette discovered Habitat Kent’s program through one of her friends, an 11-year Habitat homeowner. they’re excited to leave the cramped rented house they have been living in.

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     In a community where many of us have never known growing up without a home, the impact of homeownership can be diluted. At Habitat Kent, we’re honored to partner with families who experience the impact of the homeownership process and beyond.

     The living situation before many of our homebuyers start the Habitat program is dire. Families are living in cramped apartments or rental units while overpaying for rent and utilities.

     “My whole life I’ve been always moving, all the time,” said homebuyer Jasmine. “As a kid, if I didn’t switch schools three times per year then it wasn’t normal to me. I couldn’t make friends or call anywhere home. It was really hard for us. Life was chaotic.”

     Each homebuyer story is unique, but each member of the program shows a need for homeownership, ability to pay for a home, and a willingness to partner with Habitat Kent

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I sat down with Habitat Kent homebuyer Steve Jones who is on the finishing end of the homeownership program. Steve shares his story on how going through the homeownership program changed his family and his own personal life. He talks about sweat equity and how giving to Habitat Kent has a powerful return on investment. 


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     Clovis, Fany, Johanne (8), Arthur (6) and Grace (2) are excited for a new chapter in their lives. A two-bedroom, one bathroom apartment has been too crowded for the Moyopo-Djouguem family, and they’ve lived in various locations since immigrating to the United States in 2012.

     “My main motivation for moving to the United States was because I love my children,” Clovis said. “I want a better future for them.”

     Clovis found out about Habitat Kent’s homeownership program through his brother, another Habitat Kent homeowner, and he feels blessed that his family “can have a new start.” This new start means a quality education for the children and a continued education for both Clovis and Fany. Clovis wants to eventually continue his education in the health care field while Fany is studying to become an electrician.

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     Sweat equity. A phrase that is crucial to our mission at Habitat Kent. Because of the partner families invested in our mission, we witness empowerment, excitement, and hope.

     “It’s a way for Habitat families to pay it forward and give back to our community,” said Habitat Kent homebuyer Tiara VanDam about the approach of sweat equity.  “We’ve been given a great opportunity, and Habitat requires sweat equity so we can pass it on.”

      Some homebuyers will even go so far as to donate hours once they accomplish their required amount. Jasmine Mendez, a homebuyer in the middle of her sweat equity hours recently received 50 donated hours from another family.

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425 Pleasant Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503