Kayla is a selfless and loving single mom of four children. They are her world, and every workday she looks forward to coming straight home to them. “I do everything I can for my babies,” Kayla says with a proud smile. “I have one pair of shoes, and my kids have everything.” She and her children, sons Tayhvon and Damias, and daughters NaShyah and Daionna live in Cleveland, Tennessee.
“It was difficult finding an affordable house suitable for my daughter until I signed up for a Habitat home.” Kayla said. NaShyah was in a car accident when she was a baby and uses a wheelchair. “I applied about a year ago and started the new homeowner and budgeting classes before I was accepted into the program. I was so happy when I found out, I could have cried! It’s a blessing because I can build it to be accessible for NaShyah.”
I applied about a year ago and started the new homeowner and budgeting classes before I was accepted into the program. I was so happy when I found out, I could have cried! It’s a blessing because I can build it to be accessible for NaShyah.”
The family’s new home is being built as part of Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative, an expansion of Habitat’s existing BuildBetter initiative that will build more than 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient homes to help hundreds of families in need of affordable housing over the next three years.
The broadened initiative sits at the heart of Whirlpool Corp.’s global corporate social responsibility strategy, House+Home, which focuses on providing access to comfortable and nurturing places to live and develop resilient, thriving and sustainable communities through education and community development in the communities where Whirlpool Corp. operates. Kayla’s new home will have water-conserving plumbing fixtures, above-code insulation, and an energy-efficient refrigerator and range donated by Whirlpool Corp. to every Habitat-built home in North America.
The family currently lives in a small duplex that Kayla described as an “unsafe neighborhood for her children” with multiple limitations: a lack of privacy, confined space for the family of five, and especially for NaShyah, a driveway that is slanted, so she cannot play outdoors in her wheelchair.
Due to COVID-19, the past year has been especially challenging for the family. Kayla was out of work for three months and NaShyah had multiple surgeries. She had to be home-schooled and the family lived with heightened caution to keep NaShyah safe. In order to avoid more serious health issues, they stayed home as much as possible.
Kayla’s family is hopeful about life in their new Habitat home. Carrying NaShya up and down stairs and getting her into their current house without a ramp is difficult, but in their new home NaShya will be able to play outside and gain independence. The entire family will experience positive changes and a new sense of freedom.
“I’m so thankful,” Kayla says. “I’ve been praying and trying as hard as I can, and finally, my prayers were answered!”