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Taking care of each other

At age 24, Towanda Perry feels like it's time to move out of her parents' home in Detroit. She currently shares a bedroom with her son JaVion, who will soon be 2. Towanda says she needs her own space.

Towanda Perry puts her dynamic personality to work for Habitat by speaking to Detroit-area churches about the ministry's mission.

But what she's even more excited about is being part of building up an entire community. "Building these houses, we're bringing up the neighborhood," she says. "Some people only like to build in certain neighborhoods, but I believe this community is built on what we put into it."

Towanda is eager to share the message about Habitat throughout the Detroit community. "I've told them at the affiliate: 'Anything I can do to help!'" she says. She frequently earns a portion of her sweat-equity hours—labor homeowners contribute to building and otherwise supporting Habitat—by speaking at local churches, educating congregations about Habitat for Humanity Detroit's mission and encouraging volunteerism and donations.

Looking toward community building after the completion of her home, Towanda says, "My first hope is to start a block club…. I want to reduce crime, keep up the neighborhood, get to know each other, know who's sick or shut in—just take care of each other."

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