Photo by Nicodemus Photography

Photo by Nicodemus Photography

If you meet Brenda Walker and hear her talk about her family, you’ll quickly notice a smile that lights up the room.  She is a warm, outgoing and hard working future Habitat home buyer.

Brenda's two grown children are, Brandon who is 24 and Megan, 21. Her three year old granddaughter is Evelynn Brook .

Brenda moved to Chattanooga, TN when she was five years old and lived there until she graduated in 1989. In 1994, she moved to Cleveland. She's a full-time medical office assistant at Tennova Pediatric and Primary Care and has worked there since May 2017. She enjoys her job and likes the opportunity to help and encourage people. In her spare time Brenda likes to listen to music, take walks, go on long drives and spend time with her family and friends.

Brenda is thrilled her home is being named this year’s Heroes Build which is designed to engage veterans, military members and first responders. Her own father, John, served in the Army and is buried at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga. Her Uncle Frank served in the Air Force, and her Late Uncle James served in the Army. Her work surrounds her with first responders. The doctor she works for, Dr. Obadias Marquez is a retired Air Force pilot and one of her coworkers, Amanda Linden is currently a Nurse Practitioner and a retired Army nurse. Honoring those who serve is at the heart of her home build.

Her need for a decent, affordable home became clear to Brenda as she saw the affects of living in a duplex that was converted from an older home. The foundation is sinking, her floors are not level, water leaks in the home, and a huge sinkhole formed in the neighbor’s yard. Cracks around the doors allow rodents inside the home, and she has high electric bills. She pays 47% of her monthly income toward shelter, which is a challenge.

Brenda heard about Habitat through her best friend, Delia Meroney, who has been a Habitat homeowner for the past six years. Brenda said, “I am learning a lot about myself during this process. The sweat equity aspect is very important as it teaches you self-discipline and that you have to work hard if you want something out of life. Habitat homes are not a handout and you have to put in time and effort to own your home.” Brenda is completing her sweat equity hours by working Saturdays at the ReStore and on office projects.

Owning her first home and paying it off using what she learned in the Be Smart About Money program is Brenda's goal. She will be the first in her family to own a brand new home and wants to leave a legacy for her granddaughter.