Meet Our Families
Our partner families are very special to us! Here are the stories of the families who will become homeowners this year!
Chris, 32 and Cara, 28, have been married for almost six years and they have a spunky two year-old daughter named Claire. Chris was the first in his family to become a degree holder, while Cara holds a BAS degree. They earned their degrees while working full-time and raising Claire. Chris is passionate about park maintenance, historical interpretation and conservation; Cara enjoys special event management and programming recreational activities for senior citizens. They enjoy outings as a family, playing games, and serving as mentors to the youth at their church. They will move into a new Habitat home in Edgewood this June. This is their story:
We heard about an upcoming build partnership between Mountain Christian Church – our home church - and Habitat. Mutual friends and members of the congregation shared the information with my grandparents. We had been praying and hoping that an opportunity would arise, and we felt compelled to apply. With little else to lose, we applied with the hope of becoming homeowners again.
Habitat has boosted our confidence and helped us to invest in our future with an affordable mortgage. It has also given us a sense of purpose in our lives because we are doing work in God’s name. Our family and friends have been so supportive in our journey back to homeownership. We are gaining new family and friends with each project, and we help other partner families as God would want us to do. Through classes and mentorship, we have gained valuable knowledge that we will carry with us throughout our lifetime and share with our daughter. The saying “if we knew then, what we know now” rings so true. But it is not for us to look back, but move forward and live with the security that God is with us in all things.
Our biggest goal is to become homeowners again, build better credit, save money responsibly and to grow with God as a family. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” While on this path, we want to encourage others to be able to follow behind us and give back to their local communities. It is our wish to make this a reality at home, in our community and in other areas of our lives.
Without all of the individuals who work together through Habitat, families such as ours would not have the wonderful opportunity to be blessed with a home. To tell the entire staff, board members, selection committee and countless volunteers, “Thank you for all of your support and help with other Habitat Partner families and our own,” would not be enough! Our journey to homeownership has only been made easier through your love, answering our endless questions, lending us your willing ears and through God’s grace.
Proverbs 24:3-4, says “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Looking at this verse helps us, and hopefully others to better understand what Habitat and the volunteers accomplish when they help build homes. It takes prayer and wisdom to carefully choose the families, and knowledge and skilled hands to raise walls and create a home, thus blessing the dwelling with fond memories and passion for years to come. We cannot wait to come back to the community where we began our first journey!
My name is Lindsay Robinson and I am 23 years old. My daughter, Arianna, is four years old. I have worked at Kiddie Academy for five years and have loved every minute of it!
I currently live in a house with three other people not including my daughter and myself. I share a small room with Arianna and my living situation is only temporary. I have spent a lot of time trying to find affordable housing. Unfortunately, I was always unsuccessful, that is, until I decided to apply for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna's homeownership program.
Owning a Habitat home will be a dream come true! The path to homeownership through Habitat has been a wonderful experience. I have had the opportunity to meet some really great people and learn a lot. I have so much hope and happiness, and I feel secure knowing I will have a place my daughter and I can truly call home.
Thank you, Habitat, for making it possible for me to provide a stable home for my daughter!
I am Mr. Tsegaye Egiso Ameno. I am from Ethiopia where I ran my own construction business. I came to the United States of America
through the Diversity Visa Program in July 2009. After I got a visa for the United States, I decided to quit my business for a better life and a better education for me and my family.
I am married to Mrs. Tewabech Nida Chikssa and we love each other very much. She is still in Ethiopia waiting for her visa; hopefully, she will be here within six months.
As a newcomer, I stayed for two months with my friend, Mr. Asalefew Haile, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The house he owns is a Habitat for Humanity home and he gave me information about the program. Since that day I have been dreaming of the possibility that I would get my own house from Habitat for Humanity.
Today, my dream has become reality.
I would like to thank you Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. I would to thank the staff, site engineers, supervisors, sponsors, donors and all volunteers. To all of them, I say “thank you” from my heart.
My name is Putasha Head. I was born and raised in Harford County. I have four children; my oldest is 19, my twin sons are 16, and my other daughter is 12. They are my everything and everything I do is for them.
Five years ago, I left the comfort of my home and moved to Aberdeen, to a bigger place in a better neighborhood. The home I moved into had many problems and I didn’t see any way out. I never thought that I could ever own a home because my credit wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t afford a mortgage.
I first heard of Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna's homeownership program through a friend of mine and I thought it was a great program, but believed I would never qualify. Then, I actually saw a Habitat home being built in my neighborhood and I thought to myself, “one day, I will be able to get a home for my children.” I decided to go ahead and apply anyway
I was so pleased with how pleasant everyone has been throughout this process and I am so thankful to Habitat for providing me with the opportunity to purchase a safe and stable home for my children.
Holly Crouse, 31, and her husband have 7 children - Camryn, Kendall, Brooklyn, Mackenzie, Colton,Preston and Bryson. With the help of volunteers and donors, this family will soon move into their own home on Giles Street.
This is Holly’s story:
I (Holly) work at Klein’s Shoprite in the customer service department and have been there for 13 years. My husband works for Northeastern Supply as a delivery driver. As a family, we love doing anything as long as were together. My oldest daughters love cheerleading and are involved in the Bel Air Parks and Recreation’s cheer program. We love going to competitions!
I feel that it was God who steered me towards Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. A few times, I resisted and ignored his path. Though my husband and I both work, we still couldn't find ourselves able to find suitable housing for our family size in a price range we could afford. Still, God was determined to show me where my family belonged.
Habitat is going to completely change our lives. We will move from a two bedroom apartment into our very own home! I want a home where my children can create cherished memories, ones that - once they're grown - they can share with each other and with their own children. I think it’s very important to have stable relationships with your children, and that starts with a stable home. Once we are settled, I hope that I will be able to go to college. I will be able to focus some of my attention on taking some part-time classes at Harford Community College.
If I could get together with all of the volunteers and everyone involved in our journey, I would tell them THANK YOU! They each will have a hand in changing my family forever. We will never forget every hour they will spend building our home. The fingerprints that they leave behind will always be within our walls. Our home will stand because of them.
I want to share my story with those out there who may be in a similar situation. Don’t let past credit determine the future. Don’t let it take control like I let it control me for so long. Have hope, because with Habitat, there are possibilities. Don’t let them pass you by.
Four years ago, the Salihu family was offered an opportunity they couldn’t refuse – a chance to leave their home in Serbia for a better life in the United States. After Muharrem and Zijavere won a citizenship through a lottery in their country, they and their three kids - Fortessa (18), Flakron (16) and Besfort (12) - settled in Aberdeen, Maryland.
The couple obtained work at the local Holiday Inn, logging long hours in the restaurant and laundry services. They made their home in an apartment and enrolled their children in the local schools and athletic teams. Fortessa loves volleyball, while her brothers are avid soccer fans.
Unfortunately, their apartment is too small to accommodate this family of five; sister and brother have to share a bedroom. There are health and safety risks, too. Mold grows in their bathroom and the windows are broken. Their neighborhood is so rampant with drug activity that the teenagers are not allowed to spend time outside. Muharrem and Zijavere realized that, to really thrive, they needed to find another place to live – a home where Fortessa, Flakron and Besfort are free to just be teenagers.
The Salihus applied for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna’s homeownership program at the suggestion of a family member living in California.
“We didn't know if we would be able to get the house, but it was a good chance for us because it would help us with our financial goals, and so we wanted to give it a try,” Fortessa wrote. They were approved in 2012 and immediately started earning their required sweat equity hours. They will move into a home on Battle Avenue in Aberdeen sometime before the end of the year.
The Salihus are anxious to finally live in an affordable, decent place where peace and safety abound. They also look forward to saving money for their children’s college educations.
“We're glad that we have applied and we got this opportunity to own a house. Since we live in an apartment, getting a Habitat home [will] give us privacy, and most importantly, our own house. It much less expensive and that helps us save money for things such as college, which will be much better for all of us as a family.”
They are deeply and sincerely grateful for this chance to start anew. If they could say one thing to the volunteers, sponsors, donors and staff who make homeownership possible, it would be this:
“Keep working hard, because what you're doing is simply just amazing. You're making people happy.”
You can read stories from past years by clicking on the year below.