Starting over is never easy. But Joycelyn’s faith, hard work, and determination put her on the path to a new chapter in life after divorce. She was fortunate to find a rental home in Kalaheo, which kept her and her two children, Alana and Waylon, close to family and friends. She landed a great job at a local real estate firm and it was there at work that her former boss began encouraging her to apply and purchase an affordable home through Kaua`i Habitat for Humanity.

Homeownership had always been a goal of Joycelyn’s – and this was her big chance. She put the necessary paperwork together and submitted her application in late 2004.  She was selected along with six other applicants at that time to be among the first Kaua`i Habitat homeowners in phase one of the new `Ele`ele Iluna subdivision.

Construction started in 2005. Joycelyn’s construction partner was her son Waylon, who gave up hunting with friends on the weekends so that he could help build their new home. The family was thrilled when construction was finally completed in 2007.

Looking back on her Habitat experience, Joycelyn noted that “It changed my life. [Instead of renting] your money goes toward something that’s yours.” Her fondest memories include her neighbors, who are now close friends, and the potluck lunches they had while building their homes.

For Joycelyn, building her own home was hard work and a great learning experience. Today, her kids are grown and living successful lives with their loved ones. Her daughter Alana lives nearby with her husband Darren, a firefighter, and their daughter, Aaliyah. Waylon lives in Chetek, Wisconsin. He and his fiancée, Jana, own and operate Unleash Fido, a dog training business.