The Mimitte Family Is Building a Habitat Legacy

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On Saturday, Patrice Mimette’s home will be dedicated along with the nine others being built during Build-A-Thon. It will be the second time her home has been part of a NOAHH home dedication. When she was 12 years old, her mother, Patricia, also became a Habitat homeowner. Twenty years later, Patrice is hard at work on site at Build-A-Thon on her home in New Orleans East and Patricia has just (as of May 17) paid off her mortgage!

As a child, Patrice and her sister helped her mother with her sweat equity, and now her own daughter (and her mother) is helping Patrice. The same excitement she felt as a child–the same excitement her mother felt 20 years ago–is shared once more by this family that found stability and hope in a Habitat home.

“She’s done with hers, and I’m starting mine,” Patrice said. “It was awesome. We did the same thing. We helped mom do the sweat equity, my sister and myself. It was awesome to be going into a new home, and now my daughter is very excited to be doing it. It’s now like we’re following the same footsteps.”

Patrice never expected the home to come together so soon, but with Build-A-Thon, she is finishing her hours in record time–she’s already begun packing up, and she’s only been in the program for three months. She’s earning that quick turnaround, however, having been on site for four long days of Build-A-Thon and having worked over 400 hours in the ReStore, on other homes, and on her own. During all those hours, she’s had help from Trinity Episcopal Church, where she has worked for 12 years and been a member for nearly 20. About 30 members and staff at the church joined her on site this week to help put up siding (and dodge the rain), bringing their snack truck along with them to treat the volunteers who have been making 10 homes in 10 days possible. She was also joined by NOAHH’s Family Services department as they spent a day of Build-A-Thon volunteering as well, painting the interior of the home.

Patricia, who has been helping her daughter on the home and in the ReStore, is excited to be able to visit her daughter in New Orleans East, and to be done with her mortgage payments.

“I’m blessed,” she said. “I’m thankful and I’m blessed. It just came to an end. It’s a good feeling.”

When she first joined the Habitat program, she learned a lot about home repair on her own and from friends (and through the program), and she used those skills in helping Patrice with her sweat equity as well. She enjoys being part of Patrice’s journey as well, and she joined her at the kick-off event at the start of Build-A-Thon, where she helped lead the second line around Spanish Plaza.

“I’m dancing for y’all,” she said, “but I’m also dancing for me, too. Patrice is very excited, and I am, too.”