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Homeowner Stories


Kathryn’s Story

I am very grateful for my spiritual path and the grace and blessings that fill my life.  My Catholic family and education instilled me with faith and a desire to be of service.  Volunteering and community service have always been part of my life. 

I had a 26-year career as a Federal civil servant, working for Social Security and Medicare.  I moved into more direct service in my second career by offering therapeutic massage and bodywork for 15-years.  I’m currently seeking work in a third career of offering assistance to people facing end-of-life issues.

Over the years, three major events have impacted my finances: 1) Early marriage/divorce resulting in many years of supporting my daughter and myself solely on my salary. 2) Early retirement from Federal service, accepting a reduced pension. 3) Denial of survivor’s benefits after the death of my husband.   The combined financial impact of these events, plus the effects of inflation have made me realize I must take responsibility for creating financial security and maturity.  I attended one of APGFCU’s financial literacy classes which I found through the MD CASH Academy.  It was through Dee Barretto, APGFCU’s presenter, that I had learned about Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.  I felt comfortable with the loving non-judgmental approach and support.  I’ve been given a seed of hope, encouragement and the tools I need to work toward the goal of home ownership and financial stability. This process has been life-changing. 

Thank you for your consideration.


Renee's Story

(name changed to protect her privacy)

I don't know where to begin but I will start here...I was in a 13 year marriage of severe domestic abuse. I left several years ago with our first two children, but as I have come to learn the average woman in abuse takes 8 times to actually leave for good. We got back together and had 2 more children, the abuse continued and actually got extremely worse. During this time I worked very hard and held great positions; however, because of my home situation, I eventually lost my employment and had to rely solely on his income to support us. I went back to school and got my degree in Psychology. The strain of the relationship and the abuse continued to take its toll on me and my kids, but I was finally able to have him arrested on three separate abuse charges and he was incarcerated for a 5-year term which included a no contact order.  With his incarceration and loss of income, we lost everything.

My children and I lived at SARC safe house where I was able to obtain three part-time jobs. Although I didn't have any prior experience doing them and none of them were what you could consider career jobs, it was a humbling and fresh start. I started working with a financial advisor from APGFCU, Nancy, and with her help I was able to start budgeting, saving and working on my horribly damaged credit -- mainly due to his bad choices. Eventually my time at SARC had ended and we were once again saved from homelessness by being accepted into Harford Family House's transitional housing program where my rent is more affordable than it would be on the open market with a family of five.  

I have worked very hard at paying my debts off and saving.  I was blessed with a grant that helped pay off a lot of the debt as well.  I have saved for a home and know that renting for a family of five will be more than my income allows, so that’s why owning a home is really the best and only option; however getting an interest rate that is affordable with a mortgage that is also affordable is not something I can foresee finding.  Our lease is up in September and our options are very limited.  I have no family that we can stay with and most subsidized housing either cannot meet my family size needs or there is a 1-4 year waiting list, so homelessness would be inevitable.  After attending the homeownership orientation, I saw that this is the best program and option for me and my children. 

My faith in God has kept me strong and I am amazed at how caring and remarkably resilient my children have been throughout this whole process. They all volunteer at our church and in other areas of our community.   My two oldest are honor roll students and have received many accolades and certificates. My oldest has dreams of being a social worker and says “I want to help children who are abused and homeless”. 

I have been blessed with full custody of my children.  I have safety and security for the first time in my adult life and am free from harmful, negative people.  I can only imagine the amount of people who need this program and understand there may be more circumstances of people in need - I just ask for your consideration.   Habitat for Humanity would be helping me own our first home and a fresh, new start to our future.

Other homeowner stories for FY18 & 19:

Jessica's Story

Donna's Story

Mulugeta's Story

Lemma's Story

Mary's Story

Amanda's Story

Liz's Story






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Habitat Susquehanna Restore

1013 Beards Hill Road
Aberdeen, MD 21001
United States
Phone: (443) 567-7698
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