931 N. Douglas St. lea@habitatpeoria.org (309)676-6729

Meet Our 2017-2018 Partner Families

912 NE Monroe St.

Good Day, my name is SaRita Risby, I am a proud mother of four: two boys and two girls, Tatyana 18, DaVeon 17, DeVante 15 and E’Myah 4. My children are my life and I am glad that God blessed me to be called their mother. Tatyana will be graduating from Manual in 2017 with honors and pursuing college at ICC for nursing. DaVeon and DeVante currently attend Quest High School and E’Myah goes to Rogy’s Daycare and finishes her day off at Webster Head Start. I currently work at OSF Children’s Hospital in the NICU as a PCT/CNA. I have been with OSF for 8 years starting in Oncology and then to NICU to work with preemies. I love to help people in a trying point in their lives. I’m very understanding and love to get people to see outside of the box. I’m at a standstill regarding finishing my nursing degree but I promised myself it won’t be much longer. I have lived in Peoria my whole life and love calling it home. I have traveled many places but find myself becoming home sick. My family is here which is my support group as well as good friends. I’m the oldest of my mother’s children and we all still stay here along with my mother. I currently attend The Potters House International Church and everyone is amazing and supportive.

I am blessed beyond measure to become a Partner Family of Habitat for Humanity. This blessing opens a new chapter for everyone. A new chapter that says “We have a beautiful place to live, and that we can call our own HOME!!!” This Habitat home will give my children a source of stability and a better outlook on life because it’s their home. I know they will advance in school because this will become their haven. I look forward to being a part of the bigger picture of working together to form a community and to build hope for tomorrow. This means everything to me.  I’m given a chance to become a homeowner which is one thing I have always wanted.

Over all if we put God first and have faith, anything is possible. Our lives will forever be changed because of Habitat for Humanity’s Mission and Vision which is the foundation of a greater tomorrow. Mission: Seeking to put God’s love and action, and bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. Thank You Forever for the opportunity.


1022 NE Monroe St.

My name is Ronnia Simmons and I am the mother of a twelve-year old boy named Demetrious and a three-year old girl named Chandler. I have worked at Unity-Point Health Methodist since 2008 as an ER/Surgery tech and I now work at Courtyard Estates of Peoria as an LPN. I am currently attending Illinois Central College for an Associate Degree in Nursing (RN). I love the healthcare field and love taking care of others. I have lived in Peoria all of my life. I was convinced I wanted to leave and go “somewhere better”, but I realized “my better” is here with my family and friends.

Habitat has changed my mind and my life. I am so excited to be a part of this organization. A Habitat home means a New Chapter in my family’s life. It means a better me, a better them, and it’s ours with hard work invested. I want my children to see that I live for them. I want them to know they are safe and they can do anything that they put their minds to or be whomever they want to be. This home is a blessing to us and a big step for a brighter future for my family. I am grateful to say that we will be having a Habitat for Humanity home and be part of an ongoing, loving community and lifelong partnership.


1029 NE Madison St.

My name is Domitila Zavala-Reeise and this is my story. I have used my past experiences with sexual abuse, growing up in DCFS, and struggling with my father’s deportation to become the person that I am today.

Overcoming my past sexual abuse meant that I needed to establish a life for myself outside of the partnership and had to learn how to cope with the negative effects that remained after having such abuse occur. As a child, I blamed myself for the shame and guilt that came with sexual abuse. Every day I work on creating an environment in which I can deal with the past. I believe Maya Angelou stated it the best, “There’s no greater agony then bearing an untold story within you.” Well this is my story and my journey on the road to recovery.

One of the biggest life lessons was being placed in and out of DCFS due to the inability to properly be cared for by my mother. My brothers and I did not know what it was like to grow up in a household where two parents were present. As a child, my father was deported back to Mexico and all hope of building a relationship became non-existent. Life as I knew it was forever changed after this life altering occurrence. My mother did not know how to cope with the breakup between my father and her. Through several unforeseen circumstances it became clear, and I was removed from the home and her care. I lived with the knowledge that with all the trials and tribulations came the hope of building something better and new. Once my mother was able to get the help she needed, she then was able to become the parent I longed for all those years. My mother was also a recipient of a Habitat for Humanity Home. As a recipient, she used her experiences to create a better life for my brothers and myself. I had a place I could call a home. My relationship became stronger with my mother once I became pregnant with my oldest daughter Juliana. I would say that throughout all the challenges that life threw my way, my relationship with my mother is one of healing and peace and I consider her to be one of my biggest supporters today.

I believe that receiving this Habitat for Humanity Home will help my daughters Juliana and Isabelle by having someplace they can call “Home.” My greatest wish is that my daughters will always know how much I love them, and they walk through the rest of their lives knowing that I’ll always be there for them whenever they need me. I am a survivor of my past experiences and this is what makes me strive for better a today and to never be discouraged about the obstacles of life that come my way.

1030 NE Monroe St.

My name is LaToyia Skinner. I grew up on the Peoria South Side. It was raised in a single parent household with five siblings. I attended Trewyn Middle School as well as Manual High School. I decided to further my education so I worked to get a certificate in medical assistance, a CNA license, and a few other things. Growing up and watching my mother struggle to give me and my siblings everything motivated me then and still does to this day with my children. I am a mother of three of the most amazing children. My oldest, Jon’Taja, 18 years old, my middle child, Artaeveon, 12 and my youngest, Kourtney who is 2. I am a full time mom and full time District 150, school bus driver. 

This program is a blessing to me and my family. It is a great opportunity for me to work with the wonderful women of Peoria and Habitat for Humanity’s amazing program. The Habitat program will be giving me and my family a fresh start, a place to call home and create wonderful memories.