A Home For Christmas
Lakeisha Oliver has much to be thankful for this Christmas as Dorchester Habitat for Humanity’s 63rd homeowner. She and her four children are the proud new owners of the tenth and final home built by Habitat on Rambo Drive where over 3,000 volunteers have raised walls, swung hammers, and nailed shingles over the past three years.
“Building my house is the best experience I’ve ever been through,” Lakeisha said. “It was hard but people kept encouraging me and keeping me on track. It has been awesome.”
The experience was not without its fair share of struggles as Lakeisha reflects on the 225+ sweat equity hours she personally worked to build her and her neighbors’ homes.
“I switched to second shift at work and was out here every single day,” she said. “My kids would miss me because they would go to school while I’d come straight to the house. When they were out of school I was at work so they never saw me for about three months.”
Lakeisha knew it was worth the work to move out of her previous residence and into a place where her children, ages 5-11, can sleep soundly in their own rooms and play outside.
“My old neighborhood had shootings and police chases all the time,” she remembers. “And I had roaches and bedbugs in the walls and carpet for at least two years. It was embarrassing to have people over.”
If she could experience her home building journey again she would know not to be scared of the future.
“You have to put in the work and keep your mind focused on what you want in life,” she said. They would tell me when I first started that the lot on the end would one day be my house and I didn’t believe them. It still hasn’t dawned on me that I built a house.”