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

The Ingram family


With the help of her eldest son, Robbie, 19, Drakeima Ingram will soon have a house for all her children—including Robbin, 17, Rodney, 14, and Romeo, 6.

‘Our house for life’

Drakeima Ingram moved her family from Chicago to Minneapolis in 1995, hoping to find a better life. Since then, they have had to deal with bad landlords, foreclosures, court appearances, broken appliances, rodents and maintenance issues.

“Everything was like a bad joke,” Ingram said. “It was too much stress, just too much.”

Becoming a Habitat homeowner has been a long time coming; this was Ingram’s third Habitat application; she previously applied in 1998 and 2003. Of her long journey, she said, “I had faith. I didn’t just leave it alone. I did my homework, and I tried again.”

Her determination paid off, and she was accepted to partner with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. With the help of her eldest son, Robbie, 19, the family, which also includes Robbin, 17; Rodney, 14; and Romeo, 6, will soon have a house of their own.

“When they called to tell me, I thought I was going to faint,” she said. “I was in a dream.”

Ingram is looking forward to sharing a sense of community with her new neighbors. In her current neighborhood, there are piles of garbage in the alley, neighbors who steal mail, and crime that causes her concern for her children. “I don’t know anybody on our block,” she said.

The family is already tight-knit, but Ingram said she thinks the house will bring them even closer. They can’t wait for Friday family nights in their new home, playing board games, making snacks and watching movies together.

“We crack jokes with each other,” Robbie said, while his mother laughed.

“We’re friends, but they know I’m still their mama!” she added.

Ingram’s hope is that being a homeowner will provide the stability necessary for her children to be happy and successful. “This is our house for life,” she said.