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We want to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience when you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio. Please click here or keep scrolling to learn what you can expect before you begin.
Hesson Family
Family and Current Housing Michelle applied to the Habitat program while residing in a two-bedroom trailer with her daughter, Miyah. The trailer presented numerous challenges, including air leaks around doors and windows, making it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. In extreme cases, Michelle has to resort to using the oven for warmth. The porch entrance has saggy steps with rotting wood, and the cabinets are pulling away from the wall, raising concerns. Michelle also noted animals digging under the trailer, and safety issues arose in the community due to neighbors involved in drug-related activities. The pervasive smell of drugs has caused headaches for Miyah. Compounding matters, Miyah’s bedroom is opposite the trailer, and Michelle, concerned about her daughter’s epilepsy and seizures, must share a bed with her for safety when she is having an episode. Attempts to secure a conventional mortgage were unsuccessful due to student loan debt. She heard about the Habitat program from a current Habitat homeowner and wanted to pursue the opportunity to own a home. This spring, Michelle will participate in homebuyer educational classes, covering financial wellness, home maintenance, and essential topics to prepare families for homeownership. Michelle, with her vibrant personality, is eager to glean valuable insights from the experience and fulfill her dream of purchasing a Habitat home.
A Bright Future Michelle is employed as a Youth Service and Support Administrator at the Stark County Board of Development Disability. Michelle and Miyah share enjoyable moments watching movies and indulging in pizza on the weekends. They also find joy in attending church and spending quality time with family. Michelle eagerly anticipates the prospect of owning an affordable and secure home for her family.

Betts Family
Family and Current Housing Sam has been residing in a Massillon duplex for the past 8 years. She was raised in section 8 housing and is raising her children in public housing. Sam aspires to provide a more stable home life for her daughters where she can build a future and break the generational cycle of public housing. Their present rental poses several challenges, including air leaks from the front door affecting heating, uneven floors and limited outlets in the kitchen, and issues with the outdated electrical system. The basement exhibits signs of water and moisture, along with foundation cracks. Aside from structural concerns, disruptive neighbors play loud music and often display disorderly behavior. Although Sam was denied from the Habitat program initially due to a low income and high debt-to-income ratio, she has since worked hard on both aspects and successfully gained acceptance into the program. Sam has completed the homebuyer educational classes, focusing on financial wellness, home maintenance, and essential topics. This has equipped her with the confidence and knowledge necessary for homeownership.
A Bright Future In addition to her commitment to the Habitat partnership, Sam has been employed at University Inn in Massillon as a Nurse’s Aide for the past 7 years. When describing her children, Sa’Jai is enthusiastic about learning and serves as a great big sister, while Zarian is a loving and sassy little girl. Together, they enjoy the tradition of waking up early and going out to breakfast, a practice they’ve maintained since the girls were babies. Sam delights in celebrating holidays and eagerly anticipates decorating both the outside and inside of her future home. Beyond holiday festivities, she looks forward to the prospect of a place to call home, offering new beginnings and a fresh start for her family.

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Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio logo
In Support of Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio
As a grassroots Christian housing ministry serving Stark, Carroll, Tuscarawas, Harrison, and Jefferson Counties, Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio is driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. To learn more, visit habitateco.org.