Mary Jo Chairez is the mother of two daughters, Tammy Willis and Amy Cross.  Amy lives with Mary Jo and is mentally handicapped.  Mary Jo is also the proud grandmother of three granddaughters.  She was born and raised in Cleveland and grew up in the Southeast part with her two brothers and three sisters.  Mary Jo’s mother also lives in Cleveland and is a source of encouragement through the homeowner process.

Mary Jo is disabled and enjoys taking care of her disabled daughter and watching her granddaughters grow up.  She has a granddaughter in the marching band at Bradley High School, another granddaughter who is a cheerleader at Lake Forest Middle School and the youngest is a cheerleader at Park View Elementary.

“Amy enjoys going to church and being involved in the youth group,” said Mary Jo.  She attends Emmanuel Baptist where Tim Woody is the pastor.  Mary Jo enjoys cooking and watching her granddaughters.

“Owning my own home means stability and not having to move from place to place,” said Mary Jo “Habitat for Humanity is an example of a positive and happy future for my daughter and me.” 

Currently Mary Jo and Amy live in a 2-bedroom apartment but they can’t go outside because of some of the neighbors that bully them.  While living in their current home someone has tried to break in.

“We they are grateful for the amazing opportunity for homeownership that Habitat for Humanity is giving us. The sweat equity hours are a good part of the process because it makes you value everything more and you learn to be more responsible as a homeowner through the process,” said Mary Jo.