Life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, being a single mom to three children and trying to provide a better life for them. Jessica Philippi is a hard-working CNA for the last 13 years. She enjoys her job and being able to help people with their daily activities. Also having to maintain a second job cleaning homes, the family/work life balance is tough to maintain. Her children Caitlyn (17), Autumn (13) and Alexander (9) love parks, museums and anything historical. Jessica says “We didn’t have the money to go out and do things, so we created the fun with free activities”
Living in an unsafe apartment Jessica knew she had to find a safe and secure home for her children, that’s when her sister told her about habitat. The process from application to acceptance has been a long road but with the help of our family support staff Jessica completed her application. “They walked me though everything and made it easy to understand” said Jessica. When she got the news that she was accepted into the program she cried, finally realizing her kids would have a durable and safe home. Jessica stated about the day she found out “I honestly remember that day, getting that call crying with happiness that my struggles would finally get better and we would finally have a place to call home”
Ms. Philippi is very involved, working on the job site alongside out volunteers and meeting other families on other work sites. Hearing the stories and working along side families that have been in her shoes and made it out was encouraging. Jessica and her children are extremely excited about there new home and will continue to work with Habitat after she moves in because as Jessica says, “Everyone needs love, no matter who you are and if I can give that to someone I will.”
As I wrote about in my previous post, I joined AmeriCorps VISTA to join a nonprofit that fights poverty in the United States. My colleagues work all over the United States with different non-profits like at Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and the Clinch River Valley Initiative in Abingdon or are involved in organizations like Boys and Girls Club. I chose to work with Habitat here in Washington County where I had the opportunity to oversee event projects like Earth Day and help write grants. Every day, I worked on multiple projects and helped around the office.
I got to learn about how many people need affordable alternative housing. In a Housing Virginia Report, 26% of households living in Southwest Virginia live in homes that cost more than 30% of their income. From the perspective of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, those families are housing cost burdened.
Why I’m Thankful This Year