Courtney Harris applied for Habitat’s Homeownership Program in the fall of 2020 because her current living situation was not stable. Courtney and her 6-year-old daughter Rhylain currently rent a two-bedroom apartment in Elkhart where management changes often, maintenance is slow, rent increases yearly, and where she feels unsafe.
Courtney was familiar with Habitat’s Homeownership Program when she worked for Habitat’s ReStore. I knew my job was helping Habitat raise money to build homes. It (the program) appealed to me in the way that they create stability for families.” She was excited to learn that she was accepted into the program, “I immediately thanked God for opening the door and granting me the opportunity to become a Habitat homeowner.”
Courtney currently works with Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties Head Start Consortium as a teacher's assistant and will be graduating in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. While working, and finishing her degree she has also been hard at work putting in her 250 hours or “sweat-equity” hours by volunteering in the ReStore and helping to build alongside other Habitat homeowners.
She chose her lot in Elkhart on Belmont Avenue. Construction will begin on her home in June 2021. With support from the community, her home will be the 2021 Women Build home.
“This home will change our lives by creating a space that is affordable and safe.” Courtney shared. She wants to encourage individuals to not give up on their dreams.
Courtney and daughter Rhylain. Photo by JB photography