Brittney Simmons -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Brittney Simmons

‘Something that is going to last’

“I want my children, and even my grandchildren, to know a different life,” said Brittney Simmons, a second-generation Habitat family partner at the age of 22. She doesn’t have any children yet, but already she’s thinking about setting them up for success.

Simmons was born in Nyak, New York, and moved to Baltimore City when she was 10. Her mother, Cynthia Wiggins, eventually became a Habitat homeowner, and inspired her daughter to dream big.

“I went to my Habitat orientation on May 18—I remember the date very well,” Simmons said. “I was accepted into the program in July and began to do my sweat-equity hours.”

Simmons works full time as a customer service representative at MediFast, a weight-loss clinic, and also attends school, working toward a degree in business. “Someday, I am going to own my own business,” she said.

She has earned many of her sweat-equity hours at Habitat’s ReStore, where she enjoys working with staff members and volunteers.

Simmons is determined to create a different life for the family she hopes to have one day.

“I grew up in apartments—some were Section 8—and I want something that is going to last,” she said. “You work so hard to earn money, and then you just throw it out the door” on rent.

Simmons talks frankly about some of the hardships and negative influences she faced growing up.

“Me and my friends just didn’t have what other kids had,” she said. “It was hard. We didn’t have dads like other kids. We might show up at school in a cab, when other kids were being dropped off by their parents.”

Owning her Habitat home is a dream come true for this single-minded young woman.

“I am really excited, even though I am a little nervous about having a bigger space,” she said. “I can’t wait to decorate, to do the things I want to do that you can’t do in an apartment. I can’t wait to have company.”

Simmons said her favorite pastimes are going out to eat or staying home and watching movies. She also likes to go shopping at the mall, although she is quick to say she is not doing much buying these days. She is too busy preparing to be a homeowner.