Woman Transitions From Housing To Home Ownership

Posted at 5:06 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 18:42:22-04

A Nashville woman who spent most of her life in public housing put the finishing touches on her own home thanks to the help of Habitat for Humanity.

The sounds of hammers and chainsaws that filled the air near Polk Forest Circle Saturday were nothing new to the residents who live there.  

However, one sound rose above the rest, laughter. Theresa Fitzgerald's laughter is contagious, her smile that day said it all.

Three generations of Theresa's family have lived and were raised in public housing. Tears fell as she remembered all they've sacrificed. "They struggled, you know. My mom and my grandparent were single parents, raising all her kids too," she explained. 

For the first time, Theresa was able to look forward to cooking a meal for her family in her first home. "I've got five kids and 13 grandkids, where I was at there was no way," she laughed. 

"She just needed someone to believe in her, that she could do it," Yvette Moore said. 

Moore is the Social Service Coordinator at Andrew Jackson Courts, where Theresa lives. She helped her become self-sufficient and encouraged her to apply for the Habitat Home Ownership program, an accomplishment Theresa herself found it hard to believe.

"I'm getting emotional again," Theresa said with tears in her eyes. 

Every week her home became closer to being move-in ready. "You hope that everyone can understand that it's a process. Its not something that happens overnight. She's been in this program, the Habitat program for nine months," said Moore. 

To Theresa, move in day couldn't come soon enough. "I'm just going to lay there, arms stretched way out. Just say this is mine, this is what I've worked all my life for," Theresa laughed. 

Theresa's Habitat dedication ceremony was scheduled for May, 1. She'll officially move in sometime in June.