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“I am building because I want to be a part of building my dream.”

Tia McClanahan is a Lab Tech and Coordinator at ICare Labs Inc. and has worked there since 2018. She is a single mother to four children and describes herself as very strong and independent. Her oldest child living with her is her son, 18-year-old Andrew, who enjoys school, work, and going to the gym. Her other son, Justin, is 14-years-old and enjoys school, video games, and hanging out with his friends and family. Aaliyah is the only daughter in the family. She is 16-years-old and likes school, work, basketball, and football.

Over the years, the family of five has experienced many hardships. Tia had her first child at age 17 and by the age of 25, she had her fourth. “I had no help from family and it was very hard to keep a job. But as a mother, I had to do what I had to do to make sure my kids were taken care. With that being said, I think I have done a pretty good job of raising some great young men and young lady.” The family has moved many times in the past. They have experienced living with family and friends, sharing one bedroom, and sleeping on living room floors. She was finally able to get a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, but the maintenance was never kept up. They had to deal with bug infestations, a faulty freezer, a broken stove, and bathroom doors that don’t shut.

Getting accepted into the Habitat program was a dream come true for Tia and her family. “I thought to myself: God, all my hard work and determination have payed off. I wanted to cry!” she tells us. She is very excited to begin her sweat equity hours on the build site. “I’m expecting to learn so much about how family’s homes are built and all the hard work that goes into the homes. I can’t wait to learn how to do gardening because I do not have a green thumb!” She is looking forward to decorating her home and inviting friends and family over for holidays.

Many of our homeowners, such as Tia and her family, purchase their furniture from our Habitat ReStores, where new and gently used building materials and home furnishings are sold at discounted prices. Proceeds from the store go back into the program to help build more homes for families in our community. If you are interested in donating, shopping, or volunteering at our ReStores, please check out our ReStore Page on our website for more information.

“Our lives will be different due to the fact that we will have stability. I will have something that I can feel good about my money going to.”

The McClanahan Family home was dedicated on February 27th, 2023.

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