'Giving back:' Couple navigates pandemic's economic hurdles, opens adult group home in Hartland

Thomas and Diamond Holmes

HARTLAND -- Many small business owners continue to make tough decisions as the coronavirus pandemic continues, but one couple is finding a way to reach their goals during the difficult time.

Thomas and Diamond Holmes have finally opened the adult group home of their dreams in Hartland -- Holmes Adult Family Homes.

"It is giving back to the community. It is giving people a place to stay," Thomas said. "We do housing for older or disabled individuals.

When the pandemic hit, it halted much of their early work and slowed down the steps needed to solidify important contracts and licenses.

"The last few months really have been challenging because of COVID," said Diamond. "It took a slower process than I thought it would, but we got through it."

Now, they are accepting residents. It is one win for the entrepreneurs who have been tested in recent months. Between the two of them, the couple has four businesses -- including a daycare and a lounge in Milwaukee, which has not been able to bring in the same revenue as it did before the pandemic hit.

Holmes Adult Family Homes

"We do have a saving. We're really relying on that right now to keep everything afloat," said Thomas. "We were almost at the point of defeat, and were actually going to quit and just call it."

The couple said they had to regroup and make tough financial decisions while keeping focused on their group home goal.

"Right now, I feel like I'm in a good space," Diamond said.

The Holmes' hope all businesses -- but especially Black-owned businesses -- can bounce back from the challenges they are facing today.

"Stay sturdy, stay firm, stay true to what it is you want to do and I feel like you can do anything," said Thomas.

The Holmes' plan to start hiring for their group home soon. For more information, email holmesafh@yahoo.com.