Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon (Ret.) and Cindy Lankford help volunteers build new home for single mother of two

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 9, 2014) —More than 30 female volunteers will swing hammers, run saws and tote 2-by-4s tomorrow to begin construction on the future home of Kadarien Williams, a single mother in Oklahoma City. Tomorrow’s framing will kick off Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build week.

The event, now in its NUMBER year, is held in conjunction with National Women Build Week, which challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities.


Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon (Ret.), chairman of the Women Build, and Cindy Lankford, among other volunteers, will bring women together to help spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by single mothers like Williams.

“We need to utilize every resource we have to understand the needs of other women and be quick to respond to those needs,” said Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, (Ret.) and Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Our mental concept of what women can do has changed, both in the military and public sector. We can do much more of a physical nature and building a Habitat home for another woman or her family is something we can and should do.”

Williams is a single mother of two boys, Zavean, 10 and Kaylen, 5. The family has been living in a rent home with mold that has proven to be a health hazard, and has aggravated Kaylen’s asthma.

“Life presents many tests and setbacks throughout one’s lifetime and I have experienced many,” Williams said. “But through hard work and perseverance, good things come out in the end.”

Williams is purchasing the Habitat home with a zero-interest mortgage. She and her family will work 300 ‘sweat equity’ hours, on their home or other Habitat homes, in order to qualify for the new house.

For many low-income families, the dream of homeownership seems out of reach, but Habitat for Humanity assists homebuyers by providing quality housing at an affordable price. Prospective homebuyers also undergo an extensive screening process in order to qualify.

Maj. Gen. Aragon said that helping build a home for a woman or a family in need helps instill great sense of pride and security for that family.

“When you’re paying rent, you don’t build equity, so it’s hard to get ahead,” Maj. Gen. Aragon said. “But with the affordable payments that Habitat allows, it gives families the opportunity to say they are building a future and putting something into making that future better.”

For Williams, the opportunity to purchase a Habitat for Humanity home is a dream come true.

“The goal of home ownership didn’t seem attainable until I heard about Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity,” Williams said. “I’ve dreamt of having a stable, healthy environment to raise my boys in, to celebrate life’s special occasions and make memories. This is such a blessing.”

Women Build week continues through DATE. Williams’ home is expected to be complete by DATE.

To volunteer during Women Build or donate funds to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, please call 405-232-4828 or logon to staging.cohfh.org.

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About Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity

Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that provides affordable housing for hardworking, limited-income families. The organization has built more than 700 new homes in central Oklahoma since 1990, all sold at cost and with no interest charged. For more information, visit www.staging.cohfh.org or call (405) 232-4828.