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Habitat house will remind homeowner she has 'other things to climb toward'

"God puts you where he knows you need to be," says Katina Whiteside, a future homeowner with this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project.

Katina Whiteside earns sweat-equity hours on the site in Grand Rapids.

When Katina was selecting her lot in Grand Rapids, Mich., she got her second choice. But as building has gotten under way, she has realized how much happier she will be in the neighborhood she is building in. "I've met my neighbors, and there will be friends for the kids," she says.

Katina and her four children—Erion, 16; Charles, 12; Takina, 7; and Caige, 5—will be moving out of subsidized housing when their Habitat house is completed. Their Habitat house will have four bedrooms, allowing the family more space to live and grow.

Finishing the house will make Katina feel like she "accomplished something," she says, and it will remind her that she has "other things to climb toward." She recently finished medical transcription courses and hopes to find a career in that field.

Katina has been very surprised about how supportive the affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, has been in preparing her for homeownership. "At the affiliate, they're so excited for everybody," she says. "You'd think they were getting the house!"

"A lot of people aren't informed of all that the affiliates do," she continues, "the depth of what Habitat does for people."

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