Sharrell Johnson is about to realize a life-long dream—a home of her own, at age 27. Growing up in foster homes with a sister, Sharrell didn’t imagine she could own a home until she found Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County and was accepted into the work/build program. She is a young, but determined, single mother who works two jobs and is completing an on-line college program, so she can make a better life for her sons, Rashad, 13 and Christian, 6.
She has been employed for the past four years as a medical assistant in Springfield and worked for SPARC in client support. She is currently working on a degree in health care administration. She has had strong support from her foster mother along the way. “Most people in my situation might think they can’t get a traditional loan from a bank because of debts or bad credit – they don’t think about the future,” she said.
Sharrell is grateful for all she has learned from Habitat’s homeowner programs and from the Habitat family nurturer who has been there for her. Her favorite homeowner’s class so far has been budgeting. “I wouldn’t have known much about some of these things without them. It’s nice they have the volunteers to help me,” Sharrrell said. “I like how everyone donates their time and energy to this program.”
After completing Habitat education classes, putting in the requisite volunteer hours at the ReStore, Habitat fundraisers, and volunteering on homes for other Habitat families, her new home will be built this Spring. The design calls for an open living, dining kitchen area, three bedrooms and one bathroom, with a storage shed outside. She will work on the house and expects the boys will help as well. Sharrell said the location, in central Springfield, is ideal for her family because it’s close to schools and in a pretty, established neighborhood with mature trees. “It feels just right,” she said.