Raven and Her Family
2017 “House that Beer Built” family (future homeowners)
Raven works full time as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic. She’s raising four children on her own and attends class at least one night a week – sometimes more – in order to complete Knoxville Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership education requirements.
“Learning to budget has been a challenge,” Raven says. “Eating out was blowing my budget every week. It really added up quickly, and I didn’t realize it. It’s hard not to eat out when you work all day, and your kids play sports after school. It’s easier to go through a drive-thru somewhere. But at (Knoxville) Habitat, I learned how to plan meals and cook ahead. I use my Crock Pot a lot!”
Raven says that she’s saving money now, and not just for a rainy day. “Habitat has taught me about saving for big expenses, and also for retirement through a Roth IRA and how to take advantage of my employer’s match.”
Raven started her career as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) working in a local nursing home. “My mother encouraged me to go into healthcare. She told me that if I treated all my patients like they were my own grandmother, I’d always have a job. I found out that I love caring for others, and after four years, I went back to school for my LPN (certification).”
Raven reports that, while she misses working with her older patients in the nursing home, she finds her work at KOC to be exceptionally interesting. And her work hours are easier to manage with her children’s schedules.
“I’m so excited for my children to have a backyard to play in and their own rooms.” Raven also knows how important it is for her children to feel safe. “My kids can’t play outside where we live.”
Raven has worked hard to build and purchase her Knoxville Habitat home, but she will quickly tell you that her kids worked hard for it too. “I told them, just let me get out of nursing school and we’re going to work at getting a home.”
Thanks to the Knoxville craft beer community, her home will be a reality very soon.