GREER, S.C. – Kanya Johnson got a special welcome as she moved into her new home on Fairview Avenue today as many Riverside High School students were there to cheer her on.
Riverside students raised more than $100,000 during Spirit Week last fall to help fund the construction of Johnson’s new home. Students have also volunteered to help build the house.
Kanya has always been inspired by her mother, a single mom who worked hard to raise five children on her own from the time Kanya was 13 years old. As a participant in the Habitat homeownership program, Kanya put more than 200 hours of sweat equity into the construction of her home over the past few months. Currently renting a duplex, Kanya and her boys are thrilled to soon become homeowners. Kanya believes, “The sky is the limit. You can go wherever your determination will take you. Once you put your mind to it and set goals, the things you want most will begin to happen.”
The three-bedroom, two-bath, energy-efficient house was the 351st Habitat for Humanity home built in Greenville County in the past 33 years. Like all Habitat homes, Johnson pays a monthly affordable mortgage.
The Habitat model relies on donations and ReStore sales to help battle the affordable housing crisis in the Greenville area. Numerous companies and groups have donated time and money over the years, but the Riverside build is a first for a Habitat Greenville spirit week partnership,
“These students did more than raise money,” stated Monroe Free, Habitat Greenville President/CEO. “They helped a family get a new future. They are not just building a house, but a home where the Johnson family will thrive.”
Heather Greene, Riverside’s Spirit Week Coordinator, said a major reason the students decided to work with Habitat is because they could see their project completed by the end of the school year. “There is a feeling of accomplishment,” Greene said. “They were able to do so much in such a short amount of time.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County:
Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County opened its doors in 1985 to bring families, community partners and volunteers together to construct affordable, energy-efficient homes that help families build strength, stability and self-reliance. As of January 2018, Habitat Greenville has completed construction of 348 homes. Habitat Greenville received the 2017 Builder of the Year award from EarthCraft, and in recognition of financial health, accountability and transparency, maintains a 4-Star Charity status by Charity Navigator. Learn more at www.habitatgreenville.org.