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Irene’s home was dedicated on November 16, 2019.

Thank you to everyone who donated and volunteered and supported Irene in her journey to home ownership. During the dedication ceremony Irene said, “Thank you. Because of you, all of this is possible!”

The Beloved Community was a vision of Dr. Martin Luther King’s in which homelessness and hunger do not exist, and racism and prejudice are replaced by the inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

In support of The King Center’s MLK 50 Forward Challenge and in conjunction with Habitats across the country commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, as well as the passing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity, the NM MLK Jr. State Commission, and the NM State Office of African American Affairs are joining hands to create the Beloved Community Initiative.

The initiative will increase awareness of the Habitat for Humanity homeownership program within Albuquerque’s low-income communities of color and begins with building the Beloved Community House, an affordable home on Albuquerque’s west side.

Beloved Community Homeowner

Habitat Homeowner: Irene’s Family

Irene is a dedicated grandma raising her four grandchildren all on her own. Adriana, Taryn, Devin, and Olivia. The eldest granddaughter, Adriana, endured a traumatic brain injury due to a near drowning when she was four years old and will need care for the rest of her life. When speaking of her grandchild, Irene says, “Adriana is a beautiful blessing.”

Irene is a volunteer in the community, spending 20 to 25 hours a week helping others. “I volunteer with seniors through the City of Albuquerque Volunteer Program which I have been doing for years,” said Irene. “I also volunteer at an elementary school where I work with kids who need help catching up because they have difficulty reading and writing at their grade level. At the school they call me grandma. I love that I can help them.”

The past few years have been challenging, but Irene remains strong in her faith and is committed to building a better life for her grandchildren. “My grand kids lost their father, my only son, in 2014. Since his passing, I have had legal guardianship of all four children,” said Irene. “Our dream is to own a home so we have stability and self-worth; a home together as a family. My grand kids and I have lost a lot and make many sacrifices in order to be together and stay together as a family. My dream is to support my grand kids by giving them a stable home. I have been raising them since birth, and will continue to be in their lives as long as God wills. I am blessed to have them in my life.”

“Grandma, things I love about you”
written by Irene’s granddaughter Taryn

1 – How incredibly caring you are: you have the biggest heart despite all you’ve been through and you want the best for everyone

2 – How responsible you are: the fact that you took on the responsibility of taking care of us is truly amazing and I’ll always be grateful. You’re also responsible with everything and you inspire me to be like that.

3 – Your strength: you are such a strong person, one of the strongest I know, seeing you be strong makes me want to keep pushing through life

4 – You never give up: you’re always pushing through tough times and you always find a way to be okay. I admire you greatly.

5 – How understanding you are: no matter what I’m going through I know I can always go to you because I know you’ll understand and try to help me as much as possible

6 – You are just you: you’re an amazing person and someone I really look up to. You’re the best grandma.