When community members volunteer on one of Habitat’s build sites, they aren’t always aware of the impact they are having on the lives of our Partner Families. Kortney Adams certainly didn’t know that one day of volunteering with Habitat would forever impact her own life.
In 2016, while attending Eastern College, Kortney and her classmates volunteered on one of Habitat NS’s builds, it was there that she first learned about Habitat’s Homeownership Program. With her curiosity peaked, Kortney dug deeper into her research and realized that, through Habitat NS, she could own her own house and provide the stability for her kids that she had been trying to find for years.
Single mum to Kobe, 14, and Keiland, 7, this move will enable Kortney to become a homeowner and create a forever home for her children. “This will give us a home to grow in, allow my children a place to call their own, and make their own.”
As is the case with so many of our Habitat Partner Families, it seems there is nothing Kortney wouldn’t do to give her children a better life. With a paralegal diploma from Eastern College and working full-time, Kortney is continuing pursue her education taking classes at Dalhousie University. Finding the silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that all of Kortney’s courses have been online which allows her more flexibility to be there when her kids need her.
The Adams’ living situation will be much more manageable and enjoyable for them when they move into their new Habitat home. Each family member will have their own bedroom, and will have the space they need to concentrate on their homework and individual hobbies. Kobe, who likes to do his own thing, is looking forward to having his own space; where Keiland is a very active boy who plays hockey, baseball and basketball but needs a quiet space to unwind. For Kortney, having a safe, decent, affordable house simply means finally being able to settle into something permanent and build some memories together as a family.
Kortney’s sweat-equity volunteer hours have been a family-affair with her children, sister, parents and friends joining her on the build site to help build her home. She has also spent many lunch hours at the ReStore and is working with Habitat NS staff to help promote awareness of Habitat through local schools with the Meaning of Home contest. In her “spare time” Kortney provides support to people going through the family court system. Using her paralegal background, she helps people understand things like what an affidavit is, what paper work they need, and how to navigate a system that is difficult for so many.
While they wait for their house to be completed, the Adams’ family is looking forward to moving, the boys ask their mom regularly “when can we start packing?” They’ve driven by their future home many times, and were able to visit and pick out their rooms. Kobe and Keiland also had the chance to read the messages written on the boards from the volunteers that are building their home – reminding them that their home is built with love, care, and community spirit.
Buying things that are more permanent is something Kortney is looking forward to. “I am so excited to start decorating the house with things I know are going to stay with us for a long time, something we could never do before.”
One of Kortney’s missions is to dispel the myth that Habitat for Humanity gives families a free home. She works to explain that this is a hand up, not a hand out. She brings awareness to people as she moves through her daily life, that Habitat is not giving her a house – she has put in the sweat equity and will pay a mortgage with the help and support of Habitat Nova Scotia.