T.J. Joseph, Operations Manager, Honolulu Habitat for Humanity Operations Manager.
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity partners with families who cannot afford a traditional loan or mortgage to build their own home or repair an existing house. Each adult family member is required to help with the construction by contributing hours of "sweat equity". Habitat for Humanity also provides homeowner educational and financial services, on-site construction management and volunteer recruitment and management.
Each family follows a defined process involving an application, financial and homeowner education, financial review, family visits and site visits among other steps, to ensure the build and the home will be successful. Once a family moves into the home their mortgage payments go directly into a fund that enables Habitat for Humanity to build more houses for more families.
TJ’s knowledge of the home building process comes first hand, as she, her husband and their four children were a Habitat for Humanity partner family building their own house on a Hawaiian Homelands lot in Waimanalo several years ago.
When TJ and her family were first starting their journey toward home ownership, she was diagnosed with stage-four cancer. After surgery and many months of chemo she was cancer-free but the battle had depleted their savings and they could no longer afford a traditional mortgage to build on their lot.
The Josephs along with five other families worked side by side with volunteers, community groups and Habitat for Humanity staff every Saturday for a year and a half to realize their dream of home ownership.
Though their children were too young to work on-site, TJ and her husband Levi involved them by discussing the values that were the foundation of their family. Values like honor, faith, love and humility. The children wrote down these values and placed one in each of the 24 footing that would support their home.
TJ shared her personal pillars that helped her on the path to home ownership and in her work today helping others. Always learn. Lead by example. Pride - confidence tempered with humility. Reciprocate.
Habitat for Humanity is supported by grants, donations and proceeds from Restore - a retail store that accepts donation of construction materials and furniture for resale. For more information visitwww.honoluluhabitat.org.