On any given day, it’s common for four generations of Larry and Regina’s family to drop into their home in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit to share a meal, a story, a laugh. The couple, who married later in life, enjoy a large, blended family. After living in their community for nearly a decade, Larry and Regina have found that their neighbors have also become like family, too.
Their front door, which Larry jokingly calls “a magnet,” is a constant carousel of friends, family and neighbors stopping by. Regina loves their open-door policy, especially when it means spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Before Larry and Regina moved into their “blessed home,” Regina lived alone in a bungalow with severe structural damage that would have required expensive renovations to the house’s foundation, roof and walls. The house also lacked proper insulation, making wintertime in Detroit unbearable.
After realizing they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, Regina and Larry decided to explore housing upgrades. Their search led them to Habitat for Humanity Detroit and the Morningside neighborhood. The couple was approved for Habitat’s homeownership program and immediately began volunteering and rooting themselves in their new community. Larry and Regina marveled at the generosity and kindness of their neighbors during each home build.
“What Habitat did for me was remind me of what camaraderie is and what community is really about,” Regina says. “Habitat is a very important piece of togetherness.”
“Our grandchildren know they have a place to come home. Before, everything seemed so temporary. The foundation we laid here helps my family be more stable.”
– Regina, Habitat homeowner
Larry and Regina adore their four-bedroom home and spacious backyard, which has been the site of many impromptu neighborhood parties, family reunions and Fourth of July celebrations. Most importantly, the ample space allows their four grandchildren – 16-year-old Xavier, 12-year-old Erin, 3-year-old Ja’Koi and 5-month-old Imunique – to comfortably stay with them.
“Our grandchildren know they have a place to come home,” Regina says. “Before, everything seemed so temporary. The foundation we laid here helps my family be more stable.”
“Homeownership gives us power”
Larry and Regina, both military veterans, have become community fixtures in Morningside, setting a standard in the ways they care for their family and neighbors. Homeownership has enabled the couple to invest in their home and community. Their next project is to install a playground set in their backyard for their grandchildren to enjoy — a move that’s sure to attract other kids from the neighborhood as well.
“Homeownership gives us power,” Larry says. “You can use your home to make things happen. Home is the key to success.”