KaOnna, a 29-year-old single mother, has lived in the Waterloo area for most of her life. She has a nine-year-old daughter, KaLisse, with whom she loves to spend Friday nights playing board games with. 

Providing a home for herself and her daughter is something that KaOnna has had her eyes set on for a while. But living on her own ever since her daughter was 2.5 months old and having financial struggles for several years made buying a home seem like a very distant desire. It wasn’t until 2018 that she felt ready to explore homebuying.

“It is a big investment for me to make a payment on something that is my own, you know,” said KaOnna. “This will be the biggest accomplishment in my life. My daughter will get to grow up there, and that’s rewarding.”

Even though completing the Sweat Equity hours is not easy, KaOnna says she knows it is worth it. She said, “I enjoy the volunteering part because I might wake up and not feel ambitious to go but the supervisors are very encouraging and supportive. They push me to do more and be fearless, like climbing up on the roof to build...even though I always said I am never going up there.”

KaOnna also said that she has really benefited from the education classes that teach home and lawn maintenance. While her daughter is excited to have a bigger yard to practice her flips and run around in, KaOnna is looking forward to starting her own garden and having “Squad Barbeques” with friends in her backyard.