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

The Gunter family


Vanessa Gunter works two jobs to support herself and her 17-year-old grandson, Justin, a junior at Fairfield High School. The two of them are moving into a new Habitat for Humanity home.

©Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein


‘Nothing Grandma won’t do for you’

Vanessa Gunter says her Habitat partnership is a “God thing.”

“I just happened to drop by the office a couple days before they were having a big informational meeting with potential homeowner families,” she recalled. “I said ‘this is nothing but God.’”

Her grandson, Justin, might say it is a little bit of Grandma, too. She still works two jobs to support the two of them—including her primary occupation as a nutritionist for Fairfield City Schools. She also works part time as a cashier at a local grocery store.

Justin is a junior in high school, and he plays football and baseball. He also is a member of a service fraternity and wants to pursue a medical career after college.

Grandmother and grandson seem most excited for the other to have a new home. That’s probably to be expected from a duo who have been together Justin’s whole life: He was born in his grandmother’s bedroom.

“We’ve always had a bond,” Justin said. “I’m excited for my Grandma to have this house.”

“He knows there’s nothing that Grandma won’t do for you,” Gunter responded. “All I want him to do is go to school, go to college and then be independent and make your own career.”

“That’s true,” Justin said. “Anything I ask for, she provides. She’s always telling me to just pray and keep my head up. Don’t be a follower. Be a leader.”