June 2, 2023
June is National Homeownership Month, and we have all learned over the last few years how important homeownership is as our homes have become our workplaces, schools for our children and safe harbors in which we’ve weathered the toughest moments of a global pandemic.
This year, Houston Habitat is celebrating the joy of homeownership and fatherhood with this profile of our most recent homeowner and father: Jacoby George.
As a single father, Jacoby George’s main purpose in life has been to provide a happy and stable home for his three children: Jacoby (age 17), Jacob (age 14) and Jennae (age 10). On Tuesday, April 19, that purpose was fulfilled as he cut the ribbon in front of his Houston Habitat for Humanity home.
Homeownership has been a “life goal” for George, as he began his partnership with Houston Habitat in November 2021. George literally dug into the process as he began putting in the necessary hours to become a homeowner include including financial education courses and participating in sweat equity — helping to build homes for others. The whole family was dedicated to the effort with son Jacobi also assisting with sweat equity efforts by picking up his own hammer. (Note: volunteers must be 16 years old to participate on a Houston Habitat build) In January, alongside volunteers from UTHealth Houston and UT Physicians, he learned his hard work and dedication had paid off.
“I was shocked. I had no idea I was actually building my own home that day,” recalled George.
Less than a year after being accepted into the program, Jacoby and his family now have a completed home for their home and eagerly await their closing and move-in date. With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a spacious living area, there’s plenty of room to make memories and grow. George is also aware that studies have drawn a pathway between owning a decent, affordable and stable home and experiencing positive educational outcomes for his children. Stable home environments raise children’s math and reading test scores, making affordable homeownership a conduit for greater residential stability.1
While the benefits of educational stability are important to George, his children are more focused on their new rooms! “We are so happy to receive this blessing,” he said. “My family and I are so happy. This is a great way to start off the year. Came from nothing and now God has blessed me and family with a home,” said George, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
1 Lisa L. Mohanty and Lakshmi K. Raut, “Home Ownership and School Outcomes of Children: Evidence from the PSID Child Development Supplement,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 68.2 (2009), 465–90.