LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- For the past 41 years, Habitat for Humanity has been helping families across the globe, including right here in Little Rock.
"I love my neighbors," said LaKisha Waters. "I've got some great neighbors."
For four years, she has been renting a home in a Little Rock neighborhood. "But it's the violence," she said, "and the traffic that's coming up and down this street. My kids can't ride their bikes. We can't just sit out here. We've got people acting crazy. Shooting down the street. These are kids! These are not adults. These are kids."
Her home has been broken into. "I got a 13-year-old girl," she said. "Things run through my mind, what would they do to her?"
Her rental home is falling apart. "This little brown place right here, I had a racoon, and she had a family I guess."
And when she needs to do laundry? "We come out of the house, and our laundry room is here. So, with it being so cold, it's really cold in here, and we store everything in here. Trees, washer and dryer, and it really gets cold in here. Coming out here, bundled up, trying to wash clothes. It’s not good."
Recently, she's been doing more laundry. This mother of two became a mother of three, adopting a young relative, pulling him out of foster care, after talking to her mother, who was dying of cancer.
"She said, Kesha, keep him in the family. Do this one thing for me. She said I know I'm sick and I know I won't be able to help you out with him like I want to, but please do this for me. I said mom, I don't know. I've already got two. Let me pray about it. And I'll get back with you."
Her mom lived long enough to see LaKisha keep the family together. And now this family needs a change. So, two years ago, she applied for Habitat for Humanity, and found out she was accepted. "So I guess this is God telling me, this is your time.”
"There's a saying at habitat. God shows up here," said Becky Pittman with Habitat for Humanity. "Clearly God showed up for LaKisha and her family, and we're very excited to get to be a part of that. The biggest thing for LaKisha, she's going to have a whole new house, no holes in the roof. No way for a racoon to get in, and her mortgage payment will probably be two to three hundred dollars less than it is now."
Habitat helps families get into affordable homes. New homes, which the new owners help build. What they call 'sweat equity.' A low interest rate, and no labor costs.
LaKisha remembers what it was like telling the news to her teenage daughter. "She said, are we moving? I was like, yes, we are. And she was like, mom, I don't want to move! I said, but we're getting our own home. We are going to own our own home! She said no we're not. She said for real? Yes, mommy I love you I love you I love you! She said can I have a big room, I'll said we'll see we'll see," she laughed.
The rooms may be bigger. The grass may be greener. The laundry room, warmer. But most importantly, her family, she hopes, will be safer. "Because this world will eat them up, and I don't want that for them. I don't want them to be a statistic."
Construction is just waiting on dry ground so they can pour the foundation. They're hoping LaKisha and her family will be able to move into her new home by the holidays.
THV11 will be taking part in the building process through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and bring you updates throughout the next several months.
If you'd like to help with building her home, or maybe apply for one yourself, you can click here.