My name is Cierra. I am a 27-year-old single mother to my two-year-old daughter. I am a PhD student earning my doctorate in clinical social work.
My daughter and I come from a multiracial background. Since having her I decided to break generational curses and improve our quality of life. When I was growing up, my family moved every two years. The only things I know are apartments or living with multiple people at a time. I never stayed at one school longer than a year.
Stability is important to me. I want to be able to give my daughter that. I want her to be able to attend one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. I do not want her to have to move around like I did.
Statistics have proven that children who grow up in a single-family home are more likely to graduate not just high school, but college as well. It is imperative to their development, and essential for effective social-emotional skills.
The first time I heard about Habitat for Humanity was from a family support worker at my daughter’s daycare. I had never heard about this program before and thought, “Hmm, why not look into it?”
2020 was a very hard year for my daughter and me. I separated from her father and we had to start completely over. I was terrified that she would end up growing up like I did – constantly moving and with little to no stability. I did not want that for her so I told myself, “If you apply for this program, you can’t give up, you have to go all the way.”
With God and Habitat by my side, I was able to set goals and crush them. Words can’t describe the guidance I received from Habitat on how to improve life for my daughter and me. As I attended my finance appointments, the Habitat team pushed me, truly teaching me the difference between a “want” and a “need.” I know it sounds silly, but it’s real. If you are not taught these things as a child, you will never know financial stability.
Now we are almost at the finish line. I can finally give my daughter everything she deserves and everything I did not have. We are grateful for this process. The journey has not been easy, but it has been rewarding and taught me so much. Thanks to my housing counselor Corinne’s guidance, I AM DEBT-FREE! And soon I will be able to say, “I AM A HOME OWNER!”