The Herndon family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The Herndon family

‘Something of our own’

Cassandra Herndon grew up in Annapolis and has always wanted to buy her own home. When the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis sent her a letter about the Habitat houses that would be built on Clay Street, she jumped at the chance “to have something for me and my children, something of our own.”

For years, Herndon has been living in public housing at Eastport Terrace with her three children: Keona, 18; Kwame, 14; and Demario, 10. She said the neighborhood is nice enough, but living in public housing is a challenge. “There are lots of rules, and there is always someone you have to answer to. This summer we have been told that we are not allowed to have air conditioners in the windows.”

With record-high temperatures, it has been difficult to live with these prohibitions.

Herndon says her mother, sister and brothers are delighted that she is moving out of public housing. She can’t wait for her nieces and nephews to come to her new home on the weekends. And she has taken her daughter and friends along to build on one of the Habitat sites: “It’s hard work, but it’s exciting. Even my younger son wanted to come out and build.”

Herndon has served as a full-time receptionist and health aide at Bay Ridge Health Center for 11years. She is also a licensed geriatric nursing assistant. Daughter Keona is a child care worker in an after-school program.

For fun, the family likes to go to the movies and go shopping—especially clothes shopping. “I’m trying to hold back for now since I know the house is coming up and I will be paying my down payment,” Herndon said. You can hear, in her voice, the determination to make the most of this opportunity to own a home. “I am happy and so grateful that I have this chance to better myself and my children. Soon we will have a place we can call home.”