If you have spent any time at the Restore, you are probably familiar with Maxine a.k.a. “Micky.” Micky started out as a volunteer. Just seven short months later, she became a fulltime employee. Micky credits her relationship with Habitat for Humanity and its customers as a huge turning point in her life. Crossroads.TV was able to meet Micky and help restore the outside of her house during IMPACT Week.
After graduating from high school in Warren, Ohio, Micky served in the United States Navy from September 1982 until January 1989, when she was honorably discharged as a Machinery Repairman 2nd class. For the next 3 years, she worked in restaurants until landing a job with the State of Ohio Department of Corrections. She worked as a Correctional Officer at the Southeastern Correctional Facility from June 1992 to March 2004.
After enduring three back surgeries for a herniated disc, Micky retired in 2004. Stenosis and disc degeneration are still a medical problem for Micky today. In December 2011, Micky was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. After a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, she has been CANCER FREE since 2012! While Micky is extremely grateful to be cancer free, she also developed lymphedema in her left arm in June 2012. This condition leaves her susceptible to cellulitis, which has hospitalized her five times in the last few years.
For the past four years, Micky has lived in an apartment above a bar with no fire escape and only one entrance/exit. With the loud, constant noise from the bar, it is hard for Micky to sleep – especially on Friday nights. There is no elevator, and climbing flights of stairs makes it very difficult to complete daily duties such as grocery shopping, taking her 2 dogs (Bella & Oso) out for walks, and most importantly, caring for her grandchildren. Micky has three grandchildren; Duncan two years old, Aubrey six years old and Peyton six years old. Her current living conditions limits her ability to care for them at her apartment. It is virtually impossible for her to carry anything up the flight of stairs because they are steep, and it makes it hard to feel safe.
On Wednesday, April 13th, I completed my home visit with Micky. There are three flights of stairs leading up to her apartment, which are uneven, loose and overall unsafe. (I actually tripped up one of the stairs myself.) Upon entering the apartment, I noticed how small it is, especially for two people. The kitchen was originally two rooms and used as a second bedroom, although it is hard to imagine two rooms in such a small space. The floors throughout the whole apartment were uneven, and the carpeting was tattered. There are cracks and signs of settling and condensation in the walls. There are a lot of cracks/gaps around the front door, which affects the temperature inside and the possibility for insects and rodents to enter. A small living room is set in between the kitchen and a tiny bedroom. There is one, very skinny, small closet (in the whole apartment) which Micky had to transform with rods to fit some of her clothing. Due to lack of space/zero storage, items are stacked throughout the apartment.
The laundry room is down two flights of unsafe stairs, which makes it hard to transport clothes, laundry products and money. In 2015, Micky tripped and broke her arm going to the laundry room (located in a building behind the apartment,) causing her to spend six weeks between a cast and splints. Securing decent, affordable housing will enhance and improve Micky’s life overall. Micky is a woman who gives selflessly. Throughout her life, she has given to her family, her country, Habitat for Humanity and to each individual she has met in some capacity. Micky qualified for a new house from Habitat for Humanity because she met the criteria, and she is a Veteran. Safe, decent, affordable housing should be afforded to her because she absolutely deserves it!
Teams have been diligently working on a new house for Mickey, and she will be moving in sometime next month. We are so excited to see Mickey move into her new home.
-Tanika Nabrit, Counselor/Family Support Advocate – Habitat for Humanity