“Sitting on my porch and just watching my kids play. That is the biggest and most important thing I want to do, without having a bunch of chaos outside. I’ve been dreaming of it.”
Laquena Eggleston is a mother of four children and she’s worked hard to give them every opportunity for success. But as a single mother, it was nearly impossible to afford a decent home. She worked for J. Crew for over a decade and increased her earnings, yet she still feels trapped in low-income housing. Her family has been living in a small three-bedroom apartment, unable to afford a better housing situation.
“Every time I make a little money, they raise the rent. It’s kind of like you’re just stuck.”
Laquena said, “Something has to change.” She could not keep her family in that apartment any longer if her kids were to have the space and safety they need to be successful.
“There is just not enough space. These are pretty old apartments, and it is not what I want my family to be in… I want my kids to have their own bedroom, their own yard. There are a lot of kids over here who don’t have much, so sometimes things go missing. I just want my kids to live in a safe environment,” Laquena said.
She looked into traditional mortgages, but she stressed over the big down payments that banks require. And, she knew she couldn’t afford $1500 mortgage payments. Then, Laquena applied to build and buy a Habitat house. She attended the Homeowner Orientation Class and hoped she would get the opportunity to give her kids a safe and affordable home. When they were selected in May of last year, she exclaimed “I was so happy! I was really happy! I remember calling my mom and my sister, and they were probably happier than I was.”
The Egglestons are the future owners of the Samuel Keith Ramsey House, sponsored by Schewels Home and John T. Blanks New York Life Insurance. Samuel Keith Ramsey is known locally as Keith Ramsey. He attended E.C. Glass High with John Blanks. He ended up in Asheboro, NC, where he helped start Randolph County Habitat for Humanity. “Sam is a founder. He knows everyone. He’s like the mayor. He helps raise a lot of money so we can build houses,” says Wanda Pegg, the executive director. Blanks said he thought it would be really good to honor a Lynchburg native who was making a significant impact with Habitat families elsewhere.
Wells Fargo gave $5,000 to help cover additional costs for using contractors instead of our volunteer crew during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Laquena knows Habitat for Humanity would not be able to help her family without volunteers and donors like you. She said, “I brag about the volunteers all the time! And I love them; they are the best people. Some of them don’t talk; they just work. And I like that, too. The Liberty kids, I love them. I feel like I got to know a lot of them, and a little bit of their backgrounds. And for the people who funded it, I think it’s amazing that they could be doing anything in the world with their money, but they’re helping build people’s futures and giving people, like myself, a place to live.”