Member Spotlights: Northeast MS Habitat for Humanity

Mary Ann Plasencia, Executive Director

For the last two years, I have had the privilege of doing the most purposeful and fulfilling work by helping families help themselves. Our affiliate, Northeast Mississippi Habitat for Humanity, is small but mighty. We’re about helping families in Lee County, Mississippi build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
Currently, we’re working with five families helping each of them build brand new, attractive, and energy-efficient homes. Most of our homes have 4-bedrooms and 2-bathrooms and cost about $125,000. We then sell the home to the family at cost and interest-free.

One of our builds that’s gained a lot of momentum this year is Women Build, where 300 women are helping one woman, Quadreka Pruitt, build her home from start to finish. Quad is the proud mother of two teenagers and works as a Shahbaz, serving ten elders at the Methodist Senior Services campus here in Tupelo. We’ll be handing Quad her keys to her new home in late March when we dedicate her home.

One of our goals this year is to dream big! To that end, we turned to the Alliance’s consultant, Nancy Perret, who recently spent two days with the staff and our board to draft a strategic plan. The exercise was super productive, and we now have a road map for the next 3-5 years.

Finally, the homeowners I’m privileged to work with have taught me a great deal about patience, grit, and the palpable pride they take in literally building their own home. Hands down, to help a family experience long-term ‘agency’ over their lives is some of the most impactful work a non-profit can provide.

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