Unity House and Melissa

Melissa and her children

“I would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for considering me to be a part of this amazing experience. I added my name to the applicant list in March of 2015,” said Melissa, soon to be a Habitat homeowner.

Melissa has worked at Navajo Elementary for nearly a decade and was referred to GAHH by now retired Assistant Principal Sister Ada Dominguez. “At the time becoming a homeowner seemed like a far reaching dream,” said Melissa.

It wasn’t easy growing up in a two bedroom home with her parents, sister and three brothers. “My childhood wasn’t the greatest. I now recognize the dysfunction, especially in how we were taught this world ‘was the way it was.’ We didn’t realize there was a whole other world,” says Melissa.

Melissa with her daughter Jada and her mentor, Sister Ada Dominguez

As soon as she turned 18 Melissa was eager to leave home. She was soon pregnant with her first son and knew she wanted to be a better parent and provide a different way of life then how she was raised. Just one year later, her second son Tyree was born. “There were so many struggles and if it were not for the guidance and support from Sister Ada, I don’t know where I would be today,” says Melissa. She met Sister Ada when she was hired at APS more than nine years ago and Sister Ada has mentored and prayed for Melissa every step of the way.

“It is my children who motivate me to be a better person and getting a home of our own is a dream come true,” says Melissa. “All I ever wanted was to provide an environment that was healthy for my children. I’ve been a single working mother since they were babies. It’s not always easy, but I want to make sure my kids have a safe place to call home and build happy memories. I want them to grow up and say they have fond memories of the way they were raised.”

Unity House opening ceremony and ground breaking with representatives from one of the sponsors Benai Israel.

Melissa appreciates this opportunity and she feels blessed to have a Habitat for Humanity home that was built for her and her children. “I think it is very important for my family to have a stable environment. As a Clerk for an elementary school I see how many children struggle with inconsistencies, instability and how it affects their daily lives,” said Melissa. But she no longer has to worry because they have a home of their very own.