Krystal McKinney is on a journey – a journey to find stability for herself and her four children: Devon (14), Alyssa (11), Karah (11) and Joseph (8) – journey that is almost over thanks to her partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro-Wayne.
But like any good thing, it has taken time, patience and work. In fact, Krystal applied three times before she was finally able to get into the necessary financial shape to qualify for the responsibility of homeownership.
“When I first applied we didn’t have our own home and we were living with someone else. The second and third times we were living in a run-down house. The AC didn’t work. We would wear the least amount of clothes and just drip,” she said.
To make matter worse, she was paying almost her entire paycheck to live in what she’d hoped was a safe neighborhood but still her home was broken into. With four kids and everything going on, she said, it was hard to find time to look for a new place live. So she turned to Habitat.
“I applied for Habitat because who wouldn’t want to own their home,” she asked.
When Krystal, who works at TA Loving, learned she was accepted into the program she said she was “happy, excited and shocked” all at once, but that “blessed” was the main feeling, especially after having applied multiple times.
Now all of the children are excited to have their own room, though there has been discussion over who gets biggest. Joseph initially declared it was his, but agreed to relinquish it to his older brother Devon.
“They are so close in age; it’s getting harder for them to share. We have bunk beds now and Devon is longer than the bed”, Krystal said.
As for the other two, Karah is planning an emoji themed room and Alyssa is trying to convince the family to raise chickens in their new yard.
The thing about Habitat, though, is it requires the families to partner with us and do those sweat equity. For Krystal and her children, that hasn’t been a problem. All of them are invested in making this dream come true with the kids helping in the ReStore whenever possible and Krystal focusing on the construction sites.
“You learn things you wouldn’t learn renting or even buying a house. I enjoy it and it adds meaning. Seeing the notes from volunteers on the boards and meeting the volunteers who want to come out and build a house for someone else. It’s more special,” Krystal said.
And while the family, active in a variety of sports, knows that moving to their new home will mean new surroundings, new schools and new friends, they are excited about this change will ultimately mean for them – stability.
“Change is always hard but I’ve told them that this is a good change, a change that is worth it,” Krystal said. “I am excited about it being mine. They are too. This is where we are going to be. This is going to be home. We’ve been through a lot. This is going to give them stability, meaning and comfort. It’s going to be the cherry on top and make life better”.
Oldest son Devon agrees, “It is going to be way better. We are all excited.”