Women Build 2018: Brittani and Kina Are Home

There was joy.

Brittani and Kina stood before the gathered crowds and the joy and warmth they expressed at becoming homeowners was inescapable. After hundreds of hours of hard work, hot weather, and even some heavy rains, Brittani and Kina’s dreams of homeownership were coming true. Over 500 women, including donors, volunteers, staff, AmeriCorps, and other supporters made this possible.

The home dedication on Saturday, June 2, saw many of these women–and the men in their lives–come together to join this celebration and share the cousins’ joy. City Council Woman Cyndi Nguyen came to welcome them to her district. NORA’s Brenda Breaux spoke about their partnership with NOAHH that brought Brittani and Kina’s lots to the affiliate. Catherine Flotte and Liz Broekman, representatives from the New Orleans Advocate and Fidelity Bank, who sponsored the build and brought out teams, spoke of what it meant to be part of these new homeowners’ dreams. Lona Hankins of the team Jills of All Trades spoke for the team leaders who made Women Build possible. AmeriCorps member Danielle Krakosky spoke for the construction site leaders who led the volunteers through the build. And all of them spoke about what it meant to support the build or to work on site alongside Kina and Brittani.

For these two cousins who have been through so much together, these two homes mean a place where they can feel safe and watch out for one another, where they can have their own space but remain close, where they can bring their family together in the backyard they are sharing, where they can one day raise families, start businesses, and come home to after traveling abroad. These homes mean not just the achievement of their dreams of homeownership but the start of pursuing new dreams as well.

For the volunteers, it meant new friendships and stronger bonds with old friendships, family members, and coworkers. It meant new skills learned on site and a sense of empowerment from working with other women to change Kina and Brittani’s lives. It meant being part of a moment of joy.