Habitat homeowner pays off mortgage in 19 years


Marcy Cly, a single mother with a one-year-old daughter, applied for Habitat’s homeownership program in 1996. She had a low-paying job at a child development  enter, a car, but no place to live. Marcy is a veteran, but did not have a college degree that could help her obtain a higher-paying job.

Marcy heard about Habitat while staying at a homeless shelter. She realized that she could benefit from the program herself while telling a co-worker about it.

The Habitat application workshop that she attended had about 50 people in attendance. When Marcy was one of the families selected, she knew that things would be different.

“From that point on, my life had changed,” she said. “I felt like it empowered me and enabled me to live a normal life.”

Marcy remembers it being difficult because she was working full-time and relying on her sister to help watch her daughter. She had to work her job as well as complete required Habitat education classes and 250 hours building her home.

“It’s not given to you,” she said. “But the end result is worth it.”

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Target in 1996, Marcy went from being homeless and living with her sister to having a home to call her own where she could raise her daughter.

This past Aug. 18, 19 years later, Southern Crescent Habitat proudly honored Marcy’s accomplishment with a mortgage payoff celebration.

“You are an example and an inspiration for other Habitat families and for all of us,” said Southern Crescent CEO Kem Kimbrough.

Festivities included the handing over of the Satisfaction of Mortgage, a cake cutting with a picture of her home from 1996, and a fun beating of a mortgage piñata.  

Marcy now works for the U.S. Census Bureau. She got married five years ago and has a two-year-old son with her husband.

“I’m just very thankful, now I get to raise another child in the same house with my husband,” she said. “It’s just been a really good experience.”