A year ago today, we lost a member of the Community Home Trust family.
Deanna Carson began her work advocating for affordable housing in Orange County in 2007, and she was a valued member of the Community Home Trust team for more than eight years. As homeownership program manager, Deanna was responsible for preparing our applicants to be successful homeowners. Every person fortunate to work with or simply be around Deanna was treated to her sweet smile and upbeat spirit. She approached life with selfless motivation, always putting the needs of others before her own. She had a superpower of remembering every applicant and client with whom she had ever worked. She didn’t just remember their names; she remembered where they worked, the names of their children, and their own personal stories of why they needed secure, affordable housing. Deanna wore her heart on her sleeve and gave of her time generously, especially to those who dared to dream of owning a home for the first time.
Priscilla, a CHT homeowner who purchased her home this year, eight years after she first applied to our program, recently shared how important Deanna was to her journey to homeownership. “Your house is coming, and I want you to be ready because I don’t want you to miss the opportunity,” she says Deanna told her each time she looked over her bank statements and encouraged her to save. At the start of 2020, Deanna told Priscilla this was the year she’d own her home. And Deanna was right. On November 1, Priscilla and her 18-year-old daughter Immaculate moved into their home in Chapel Hill. Priscilla credits Deanna’s investment in her and consistent encouragement and support with getting her to where she is today.
We are grateful to have had the privilege of working with Deanna. She made us a better team. She made us laugh and reminded us to have fun in the midst of a busy day. She told great stories – full of laughter, passion, and a little attitude. Deanna was more than our colleague; she was a friend and a member of our family. She is still missed every day, but the impact she has had on each one of us will continue to shape us into better people.