Jason, after losing his job as a construction worker as the housing market began to fall, decided to join the United States Army in 2006 at the age of 24. Now at the age of 31, Jason has toured Iraq two separate times, serving as a gate and tower guard and also running taxi missions through the city of Bagdad.
A week after returning from his first tour of Iraq he met Marie, and four months later they were married. That following September, Jason returned to Iraq for his second tour.
Jason, who still serves his country as a member of the National Guard, now works for a government contractor at Fort Lee. His wife Marie attended college while he was deployed and works at a local healthcare company as a Certified Medical Assistant.
Homeownership, while something they always dreamed of, never seemed tangible to them. That’s until they learned about Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity from the local Wounded Warrior Program.
Jason and Marie, along with their two young daughters Mackenzie and Emma, are now anxiously awaiting the purchase of their first home through Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat for Heroes program.
Through the Habitat for Heroes program, Richmond Habitat provides safe and affordable homeownership opportunities for local heroes who are currently serving, were honorably discharged or are family members of the fallen.
The Dismuke family will be moving into one of seven homes that were donated by Bank of America, in an initiative to revitalize foreclosed properties. These foreclosed homes are located in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties in neighborhoods with excellent opportunities for education, jobs and access to restaurants and shopping.
Qualified veteran families will pay an affordable, no-interest mortgage, will receive discounted pricing on their home and will not be required to pay a down payment – saving these families thousands and thousands of dollars over the course of owning their home.
Jason and Marie will complete 200 hours of “sweat equity,” or volunteer time, helping to rehabilitate and build their own home and the homes of other partner families, and will attend ten financial and homeownership education classes to ensure they have the tools he needs to be successful homeowners.
“The girls are so excited to have their own rooms and a backyard to play in,” said Marie to one of her future neighbors who came over to meet the family on a recent visit to the home, “they’ve never had their own room before.”
Once their home is renovated, the Dismuke family will be moving into a rehabilitated three-bedroom home in the West End of Henrico.
Currently, Richmond Habitat is in search of other local veterans interested in becoming homeowners. There are three homes currently available through the Habitat for Heroes program, one in Henrico County and two in Chesterfield County. Additional information can be found by visiting www.richmondhabitat.org.
Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity serves the City of Richmond and Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Henrico, and New Kent. The office is located at 2281 Dabney Road in Richmond.