Harvey and Juanita Brown have dreamed of owning their own home since they were 18 years old.
They worked hard to build a successful small business delivering spring water, but still could not
afford to buy a place of their own, despite numerous attempts. Their apartment was unsafe, and the
ceiling leaked. Juanita wouldn’t even allow their three children to play outside because she was
afraid they would be struck by stray bullets.
When the Browns were approved as DC Habitat for Humanity homebuyers, they wasted no time completing the program requirements. Harvey and Juanita spent every spare moment at the construction site, and completed the required 300 hours of “sweat equity” building their house in record time.
On February 14, 2005, the Browns finally realized their 20-year dream of becoming homeowners. Today the Brown children play in their front yard with their neighbors. Their oldest daughter, Maleka, started college this year. Harvey and Juanita are helping to found a homeowners association and volunteer their time to help other homebuyers complete their sweat equity hours. Juanita reflected “We believe that becoming homeowners will not only provide our children with a stable environment, but instill in us all a sense of accomplishment and pride.”