Family Profile: Kalona and Family
The path to homeownership is bittersweet for 34-year-old Kalona and her family. She and three of her four children are thrilled to be roaming around a two-story, four-bedroom home in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood that will be theirs in a few months, once it has been completely rehabilitated by Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
I’m very excited. I can hardly explain it,” Kalona said.
But she is sad that her father isn’t here to share the family’s joy.
My dad passed almost a year ago,” said Kalona, whose mother, Yvonne, was standing nearby in the home’s nice-size kitchen. “There aren’t a lot of people in our family who have their own homes. This would have been huge for him to see this happening to me.”
Kalona and her family are looking forward to moving into the 1,800 square foot home and the many amenities the neighborhood has to offer. At first she was reluctant to leave Oakwood Village, where she has rented a three-bedroom home for 11 years. But her mother and Kalona’s job – she’s a mental health technician are close to her soon-to-be new home.
“I’ll be near my mom and I’ll be closer to work here,” said Kalona who, along with her oldest daughter, volunteers at the Habitat ReStore that sells thrift building supplies and home goods. “It used to take me about 30 minutes to get to work in the winter. Now it will take seven minutes. This just felt right.”