By: Kim Kerr, Family Services Manager

We welcomed a new partner to our Habitat Family in June. After taking a pause from accepting applications, we are so happy to introduce our new family to the group. Erin believes a home means family, safety, security and love. The Habitat organization is happy to be a part of building this home for the Skipper family.

Erin is a 33 year old single mother of two beautiful children, Amari 11 and Robert 4. Amari is a 6th grader at the I Promise school in Akron. Robert attends Irma Jones Preschool. The family also has a Shorkie dog named Maximus. Erin has an Associates degree in Surgical Tech. She is currently an independent provider of Developmental Disabilities.

Erin heard about Habitat for Humanity when she and her cousin were in college. Her cousin had volunteered for the organization while they were in college. Erin has also known people who have previously been in the program. Erin’s cousin even came to volunteer during a build day with Erin in July. I had the privilege of meeting her cousin that day. I have also had the privilege of meeting Erin’s mom as well. Our partner families are required to complete 250 hours of volunteer time. Some of this time can be donated by friends and family. What a blessing it is to get to know our families!

Erin currently lives in a small 2-3 bedroom house with a detached garage and no central air. When she moved into her current home, the basement flooded three times before it was fixed correctly. The appliances in the home didn’t work properly for the first three months she lived in her current home. She is excited to live in her new Habitat home. She stated that “everything will be brand new. The best part is the house will be mine and it will be something I put my blood sweat and tears into.” Her home is currently under construction. Erin told me that her children want to drive by the home every day. Amari told me she is thinking about what colors she wants to use to decorate her bedroom.

Though Erin has not been in the program long, she states that being a partner family has allowed her to meet extremely nice people. Erin has built things that she would never have imagined doing. Erin also has taken part in our community garden and participated in our Golf outing in July. Her advice to others interested in the program would be “it has been the best experience. I wish I would have applied for the program sooner.”

At the golf outing Erin was able to meet some of our board members and business partners. She has also had the pleasure of meeting some of our volunteers at a build site and when she has attended homeownership classes. She would like to thank them for their contributions and hard work. “Without you, there wouldn’t be a Habitat” Erin stated. Our board members and business partners help us in many ways at Habitat. Some of our partners offer to donate their time teaching future homeowners about aspects of home ownership. Some of our business partners donate time at the building sites. Some of our business partners give financial donations to help with the building costs. Our organization appreciates the countless number of ways that community members support our mission.