Amy* is a single mother of two children: Mike (21) and Lexi (5). The family’s two-bedroom apartment is overcrowded. Amy and Lexi share a bedroom, leaving both without personal space or privacy. Mold exacerbates Amy and Lexi’s asthma. Neighbor disputes are a source of anxiety for Amy and her children. They don’t have the freedom to laugh and play in their own space without causing strife with their neighbors.
Amy, survivor of a horrific domestic violence situation, works tirelessly to provide a better life for her children. She put herself through college and now works at a local non-profit as a Case Manager Lead. Often drawing from her own experiences, Amy helps families overcome major life barriers such as financial instability and the cycles of domestic violence, helping them to reach overall family wellness.
The family has dreams for the home they will one day share – a safe space where they will have barbecues, listen to music and dance, play outside, and plant a lemon tree.
“I work very hard to give my children a better life and to lead by example. Teaching them to persevere and to work hard. We dream big and hope even bigger. We are grateful to partner with Habitat to make our dream of a home come true.”
*For the privacy and protection of the family, some details of their story have been withheld and their names have been changed.
The Garcia Family Lorena is a single mother of three children: Miguel (15), Marica (10), and Maya (6). The family of four share a tiny, 37-year-old mobile home that is barely habitable. The floors are sagging, causing the windows and back door to no longer close properly; electrical outlets are exposed, and the breakers are constantly tripping; the small heating unit is exposed and blankets cover the windows for insulation; the water is undrinkable because
of the old pipes. Lorena and her son each have a small bedroom, while the girls share a folding bed in the living room. No one has any privacy. Despite all this, the family is grateful to have each other and a roof over their heads.
“We would love to be a part of a community where people are great to one another. A community where others have also helped with building your home from the bottom up.”
Lorena works full time and strives to provide consistency and structure for her children. Partnering with MacHabitat and working towards homeownership will
help her accomplish her goals.
Before being selected for our program last year, Ember Sherwood applied for a Habitat home three times. She worked extremely hard over the past five years to clean up her credit so that she could meet our selection criteria.
Ember currently lives in her parents’ home, sharing a small bedroom with her 1-year-old son Grayson and 8-year old daughter Ava. They can’t use the adjoining bathroom due to rust coming from old pipes, and the windows are infested with mold. They have no privacy and the children have no place to play. Medical professionals have advised Ember that her one-year-old son Grayson’s asthma is aggravated by the mold in their current home and that his digestive disorders (gastroesophageal reflux disease and swallowing problems) could improve in a less stressful environment. Both children will benefit from having more space to play: inside the house, in their new home’s small yard, and in the small park that will be located in the development. Once removed from substandard living conditions and moved into their safe, decent home, it is anticipated that Ember’s children will thrive.
It’s been a long-time goal of Ember’s for her family to have place of their own. She is extremely motivated to prove to her children that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything. In addition to being a great role model for Ava and Grayson, Ember is an inspiration to the families with whom she works at Yamhill County Head Start.
Jennifer Crain and her three children (Nick, Mason, & Brooklyn) lived in a small two-bedroom apartment that did not meet their physical needs. Jennifer’s youngest child, Brooklyn, suffers from Noonan Syndrome, a congenital disorder, the principal features of which include heart defect, short stature, learning disabilities, impaired blood clotting, and other medical issues. Despite being a being a working, single mother, Jennifer was determined to provide her children with the stability a forever home would provide.
Jennifer was thrilled to partner with MacHabitat on our 2017 Women Build project and worked on several of her Habitat neighbors’ homes before being able to help build her own. The family was elated to move into their “Lovely House” in September 2017.
Lovely House by Mason, age 11
When the house is ready, it will be good and steady.
But when it’s done, we will all have fun.
The volunteers helped so much to build our house,
our lovely house so nice and steady. I also love the ones that helped because
They made our lovely house.
By MHFHweb|2018-07-17T00:14:11+00:00June 26th, 2018|Women's Build|Comments Off on Jennifer Crain – 2017 Women Build
I first learned of Habitat from a friend who handed me an application and said to go apply. Little did I know it was to be the best decision of my life. Having little knowledge and more than a few misconceptions of what Habitat was all about I had a lot to learn. The more I learned the prouder I became to be a part of such a great project. As we the applicants worked with the staff in meetings and classes everything became more exciting and clear. This was real. A whole neighborhood built by amazing volunteers and the people who live there. My children and I were going to have a house of our own, we would never have to move again or wonder where we would go once we outstayed our welcome. We belonged somewhere. Construction began July of 2015 and we moved in July 16th 2016. It was a long year full of hard work, a real education and sometimes difficult anticipation. All completely worth it! My kids each have their own room, McKinzie 10, McKinna 8 and Daxton 6. Something that they had never before been able to experience. One of the first things they did while even the boxes were still packed was to write up little signs stuck to their doors that said “Please ask before coming in my room”. They had their own little spaces and couldn’t be more happy about it. I truly hope that more families can experience what we have been able to accomplish with our house and our selves. Habitat is life changing and an amazing opportunity.
Thank you all
-Traci Spurgeon (Homeowner)
By MHFHweb|2018-07-13T23:12:20+00:00June 26th, 2018|Women's Build|Comments Off on Traci Spurgeon – 2015 Women Build