Homeownership Stories

See how hard work and your support can change the lives of families right here in Will County.


“24 years ago I moved from Chicago’s West Side to a small apartment in Joliet with my one-year-old son and another on the way. After my second son was born, I began working as a certified nurse’s assistant at a nursing home. One day, a nurse asked me why I wasn’t in nursing school. I told her I was waiting to take the entrance exam at Joliet Junior College but working full-time and raising my kids made it difficult. She told me about the LPN program at Joliet Central High School and by the following year I was enrolled.

“I continued to work at the nursing home and take classes during the day. One night, I heard a coworker mention she was helping to build a house through Habitat for Humanity. I asked about the application process and requirements then contacted the director at Habitat. I went to an orientaiton, applied, and after a few months I recieved the call that I was accepted into the Homeownership Program!

“Living in a Habitat home gave me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and the affordable mortgage allowed me to continue my education. Today, I’m a Nurse Practitioner with United Healthcare and working on my Doctorate. Most importantly, Habitat provided me a HOME, not just a house to raise my boys.”

– Katerina, Habitat Homeowner


Being a Habitat Homeowner Partner means to me a secure place to be in…Homeownership. But also having the opportunity to achieve it through sacrifice, risks taken, time & hard work. I have always dreamt of owning a home, I even fantasize about sitting outside on my patio drinking a cold glass of lemonade on a sunny, beautiful day. Owning a home is very important to me, the thought of having a home as an asset & paying a mortgage will increase my equity in that asset, which is so much better than paying rent.

This investment will make a huge difference for my financial future. Finding Habitat for Humanity has helped me get back on track. The outstanding staff has worked with me on all levels of my financial needs and support and I’m extremely grateful. Now,I have a positive mindset & a sense of dignity & pride. What a good journey for me at every level. There can be endless possibilities for anyone who wants to pursue the “Dream”. This has been an amazing accomplishment for me, while I had to challenge some adversity, but with unflinching determination, owning a home through Habitat for Humanity will be a life altering decision & one of the most important in my lifetime


Joshua grew up in a Habitat house. His mother, Katerina has been a role model to him. Their family moved into their Habitat home in 2003. Katerina paid off their home and rents it today to a mother who was living in a hotel with her two children. She used the Habitat model to qualify the mother. Josh has witnessed his mother go from having nothing to continuing her education, establishing a career, and today becoming Dr. Katerina Bell. She contributes her success to the affordable mortgage and stability that Habitat provided her family.

Josh wants the same foundation that his mother had. He sees the value in partnering with Will County Habitat for Humanity. Josh is currently living with his mother. He wants more for his two boys and himself. Because the boys are growing up, the need for more space is becoming vital. He also wants his dignity, the ability to show his boys that he can provide for them and be the role model his mother was to him.


Phillips Family- Family describes them outstanding,outgoing, respectful, well mannered people. They are all achievers. This family can’t wait to host the holiday’s at their new home. Rekueta- Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Registered Behavioral Technician. Her Mom describes her as a “handful”. “She goes for her dreams, to have what I could not.” She has been described as a go getter & an inspiration.