Making Myself a Home

My mother and I were always struggling, between her being a single mom and taking care of my grandmother, there just wasn't much time or money to spare.

During my younger years, we rented an old garage that she rented for a low cost on the contingency that she would build an apartment. When we first moved in, the space had concrete floors and block walls. The interior was an open space and she built as she could afford. First came the framing which served as our walls for many months, we didn't even have a working toilet for the first couple of months. I was 8 years old. Over the next 5 years, she had transformed it into home for us to live in.

That is where my love for Architecture, building and remodeling, and my work ethic began. She was constantly drafting dreams on napkins, building things, sewing clothes for women with special measurements. She always worked with her hands to make extra income for our household so she could spend time with me. She was my best friend. She got diagnosed with Cancer in 2009. 

I was a sophomore in highschool when she was told she was terminally ill with Small Cell Lung Cancer. I was put on homebound while she was in Hospice care and it wasn't a full year before she was gone.

At 16, I was completely supporting myself. My grandmother had begun her downward spiral with Alzheimer's and my immedate family members were too concerned about the estate. I experienced abuse during that time, so I chose to lose contact.

Until I graduated, I stayed in the apartment that she had built for us. Her dream always being to one day buy a fixer upper and perfect it with me to make a "forever home" for the two of us. 

I ended up in Knoxville, TN where I reside today, made it to The University of Tennessee, and I thought things were finally looking up. I was working, going to school, saving money and trying to buy a house. Always trying to buy a house...

Not having a father figure really messed me up, living without a mother or support really messed me up. Being alone is hard, not having someone call you just to talk or worry about you is hard. During my time at UT, I got into an abusive relationship that ended school for me and put me into financial trouble when I finally gained enough courage to leave. I am strong, but I was weak. I wanted someone to love me unconditionally and with my vulnerability, I believed him. 

Since, I have beat cervical cancer and have been working multiple jobs to pay off medical bills and regain a credible reputation with creditors and banks in order to buy a home. If you ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you my goal is to just have a home. 

The money raised will help finish paying medical expenses and begin a down payment for a place I can finally call home.


Raven Carrier
Knoxville, TN

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