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Planting roots after years of struggle: One family’s journey to a forever home

Written By: Shelley Vanker, UT Physicians | Updated: May 9, 2024
Annissa Adams and her two sons

Donavan, Annissa, and Evan Adams stand in front of their new home, purchased through Habitat for Humanity. (Photo by Brad Driver, UT Physicians)

Television cameras were rolling as Annissa Adams and her two sons cut the ribbon on their first house.

“Today is a culmination of work, celebration, and gratitude,” said Annissa, standing on her new driveway with a wide grin. “I’m ready to establish something for my children.”

A longtime administrative assistant for a local preschool, Annissa said she previously could not find stable housing she could afford.

“I started out living with my mom. All three of us were in the back bedroom at my mom’s house,” she explained. “I tried to rent a house, but the rent kept increasing. Then I moved to another house, but the rent kept going up there too.”

Houston Habitat for Humanity

After struggling for years, Annissa turned to Houston Habitat for Humanity. She began a 16-month journey that required 250 hours of sweat equity and additional hours of financial literacy counseling.

Andrew Casas
Andrew Casas

As the title sponsor for Annissa’s home build with KPRC-TV and Houston Habitat for Humanity, employees with UTHealth Houston and UT Physicians spent a day at the construction site raising the framework in January.

“A team of us helped put the walls up,” said Andrew Casas, senior vice president of UTHealth Houston and chief operating officer of UT Physicians. “This is a way for us to give back to the community where we already provide health care services.”

“Stable and safe housing is foundational to physical and mental health,” said Amar Yousif, MBA, vice president and chief information officer for UTHealth Houston. “Our partnership with KPRC-TV and Habitat for Humanity is a testament to our belief that every individual deserves a chance to live a healthy and productive life, and it all begins with a place to call home.”

Their new neighborhood

Amar Yousif, MBA
Amar Yousif, MBA

The planned community on Houston’s northwest side offers housing for low-income families. Many of the homes are developed by Houston Habitat for Humanity.

Planting roots in this particular neighborhood is especially meaningful for Annissa. Her son Donavan already attends high school nearby, the same school where her oldest son Evan graduated in the top 15% of his class.

“The future looks like being active in the community, involved with the HOA, involved with neighbors, and planning events,” said Annissa. “My blessings are definitely coming out today.”

Take a look back at the grand unveiling of Annissa Adams’ home in northwest Houston.

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.