Welcome Home, Lakiara and Shabree!

Woman in orange dress poses with framed award with older man in front of blue Habitat Chesapeake logo background.

Habitat Chesapeake staff & supporters came together in Milton-Montford to celebrate TWO new homeowners!

It was a chilly day but the sun was shining as two new Habitat homebuyers, Lakiara and Shabree, took their turns cutting the bright red ribbon across the doorway to a home on Eager Street.

Shabree, future homeowner on Eager Street, joins a network of Habitat Chesapeake homeowners on the street. Eager Street is at the heart of Milton-Montford, an East Baltimore community that originally housed immigrants and working-class families before falling into disrepair. With help from the city, state, local organizations and employment opportunities at Johns Hopkins Hospital, this area is becoming a thriving, diverse community with affordable homes for families.

“I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I got into the program. I just knew the goal was to become a homeowner,” said Shabree, speaking to the friends and family packed into her living room. After nearly four years in the Habitat Chesapeake Homebuyer Program, Shabree, along with her two children, can finally come home to their newly-renovated three-bedroom home on Eager Street. As the ceremony wrapped up, her young son ran room to room, running up and down the halls of his new home and showing everyone his future bedroom.

Lakiara also hoisted the giant scissors to cut the big red ribbon, symbolically being welcomed to her home across the city in Sandtown-Winchester, where she was raised. A hygiene specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Lakiara didn’t believe that she could ever own a home for herself and her eight year-old son, but after hearing about Habitat from her friends and family in her neighborhood, she decided to take the leap and apply for the program. Now, she is being congratulated by staff and friends who helped her build her own home.

“It’s an investment that I will appreciate even more as time goes by. I want to thank my Lord, and I want to thank everyone who I utilized to get this far, and was there for me through this process,” said Lakiara through tears. 

The beautiful ceremony wrapped up with a presentation of a bible and ceremonial key to each of the first-time homebuyers and a heartfelt singalong to “This Little Light of Mine,” led by Lawrence Lanahan, longtime Habitat supporter and author of the The Lines Between Us.

This program owes so much to the incredible volunteers and partners who dedicated their time, energy, and support to help rehabilitate and renovate these homes. Read more about our Partners of the Year like Northrop Grumman on our website!

Many thanks also to the supporters who make home dedications like these happen, including BGE, Bank of America, The Abell Foundation, Wells Fargo, Prime AE, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, Miss Electricity LLC, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, and more.

A picture of a sign listing all the 2023 Coming Home Cornerstone Society honorees.

I knew that was a goal by the time I turned 30 – to own my own home. I know now that I don’t have to be renting. I’ll have something that’s mine.

–  Lakiara, first-time homebuyer with Habitat Chesapeake

The Habitat Chesapeake Homebuyer program matches partner families and individuals to new and renovated homes in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Howard counties. All partner families are matched to a home with affordable mortgage payments capped at 30% of their gross income and invest with 250 “sweat equity” hours spent on construction sites and in our ReStores. Learn more about our program and its requirements and check out where we’re currently recruiting future homeowners!


About Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake

Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake (www.habitatchesapeake.org) brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has built more than 780 homes in 19 communities, providing a brighter future for 2,750+ children and family members. Homeownership is proven to transform lives – improving health, increasing children’s chances of academic success and offering an opportunity to build wealth across generations. Likewise, homeownership enhances neighborhoods by bringing tangible investment, engaged, long-term residents, rising property values and a sense of community.