Stacey Gray -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Stacey Gray

‘Something I always wanted’

Stacey Gray has worked for years to get ready to be a homeowner.

Despite a surgery, hospitalization and lengthy recovery, which put her deeply in debt, she’s hoping to put extra money into her down payment for her Habitat-rehabbed house on Jefferson Street in East Baltimore.

She had a job without health insurance when she got sick. “But I paid it all back. I was on a mission,” she said.

Now she pays her bills before they are due and has a small savings account. For six years, she has worked for a department store and has benefits. She works the overnight shift because it pays more.

Supporting her through her mission has been Rock City Church, where she has been a member for 14 years. She said that her church does a lot for others.

“When they learned about the house, they were so proud of me,” she said. Gray will live in the new home with her kitten, Princess, and hopes that her daughters, Hannah, 15, and Tayanna, 14, will be frequent visitors. She and a brother are the first homeowners in her family.

She looks forward to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project and working on houses.

“When you help build, you know what’s in your own house,” she said. “It’s going to feel great. It’s like getting something new I always wanted.”