Onisha and her sons with the keys to their new home

Onisha and her sons, 14-year-old Jasaun and 9-year-old Zykail, used to rent an apartment in a neighborhood where she didn’t feel safe. After years of overpriced rent payments and being unable to purchase a home on the open market, Onisha says becoming a part of Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool program is a perfect fit.

Owning a home will “bring stability to me and my boys,” she says. “Not only that, but it will teach us that we can get anything in life as long as we try.”

Onisha applied and was accepted into Habitat for Humanity of Horry County’s homeownership program. Her affordable mortgage through Habitat’s BuildBetter program gives Onisha the opportunity to provide a safe and stable home for her boys. Providing security through a new Habitat home will make a huge difference in the lives of everyone in her family.

Raised by her grandmother and her aunt, Onisha says motherhood and faith hold even more importance in her life. Having experienced many personal trials and tribulations, she has kept God at the center of her life, never giving up hope. That positive outlook helped her to work through her local Habitat’s homebuyer program with ease and determination. By fulfilling her 300 sweat-equity hours — the time future Habitat homeowners spend building their homes and the homes of others — she has learned how to install vinyl siding and other important skills.

Onisha’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has energy-efficient doors, windows, heating and cooling system, insulation, and more. The family also received an energy-efficient refrigerator and range, which Whirlpool Corporation donates to every Habitat-built home in North America. Onisha says the appliances her home was equipped with are the nicest she has ever had. She said that having clean appliances that work is a huge upgrade, and her energy bill has been reduced significantly since she moved into her new home. Through good times and difficult times, Onisha’s family has been there to support her, and this includes her new Habitat family of volunteers and supporters. To Onisha, home is a place to live and enjoy life to its fullest. It’s a place to feel safe.

The BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative is an expansion of Habitat’s existing BuildBetter program, which will build more than 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient homes across the country, with a goal of delivering an almost 15 percent increase in energy efficiency compared to conventional homes. The program will help hundreds of families in need of affordable housing over three years.