On Sunday, February 9, 2020, Nevada County Habitat for Humanity broke ground on Park Place, its’ new 4-home development located on Stennett and Kendall Streets in Grass Valley. The location is one block from Memorial Park.

Three of the four new homeowners have been selected, with the first home going to Danise H., a longtime Grass Valley resident who is thrilled to have a place called “home”.

“I was hopeful,” she says. “All of my friends were supportive. For so long I didn’t see good things happening for me. But, God is good, and I feel truly blessed.”

Danise is deeply appreciative of the opportunity that Habitat provides, but “happy” and “grateful” weren’t a part of her vocabulary for many years. Earlier in her life Danise battled addictions that, she says, created chaos and led to many hardships.

“My friends would have said I was responsible back then. I always worked. I paid my bills, never got evicted. But I was in an abusive environment. I lived in fear for so long. There was no light in me. I felt paralyzed.” She went on to say that it always felt like the rug was being pulled out from beneath her feet.  “I kept it together for my son. But, finally I just surrendered.”

Led by a deep faith in God, Danise has been in successful recovery for 13 years. “I still live with the effects, but I keep learning and living a new way of life. Living in the now. I was on Section Eight and graduated – I never saw it as an entitlement. I wanted my life to be better.”

Danise has worked at Golden Empire for the past four years. The people who know her well say that she is committed to helping others in need. In true Habitat spirit, Danise is always willing to help people in need. She’s especially sensitive to the needs of people in recovery.

“I know this (the opportunity with Habitat) is going to help others in recovery. They can see it’s possible to have a different, better life. They just need a little bit of encouragement. Faith, love and hope – they just need a tiny bit to hold onto.”

Danise holds a unique distinction in being the first homeowner to purchase a one-bedroom home from Nevada County Habitat during the organization’s history.

“We had a lot of decisions to make regarding the configuration of this property,” says Lorraine Larson, Nevada County Habitat’s Executive Director. “The lot dimensions allowed us to become creative in the size of homes to be built. Danise’s one-bedroom fit nicely into the plan.” Habitat will also add an additional two-bedroom, three-bedroom and a “larger” home in the neighborhood.

“There are so many deserving, hard-working people in need of affordable housing – including those whose children have grown and established lives of their own,” Lorraine says. “We’re happy that Danise has this opportunity.”

For Danise, “happy” and “grateful” are not only a part of her vocabulary now, but shine brightly from her eyes as she enters into this new and exciting part of her journey. Nevada County Habitat is grateful to be a part of her success story.


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