Julia grew up in and out of homelessness. While staying in shelters, she was split up from her father and the role of guardian of her siblings fell onto her shoulders. From a young age, she has been a caretaker.
“Both me and my sister couldn’t even stay with my father throughout the night. At the shelters, he had to be on the male side and we had to be on the female side.”
After many years of struggle, she found 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house to live in. But it’s far too small for herself, her children, her siblings, and her father. With 7 people sharing a living space, things are very cramped. She sleeps with her daughters every night while her siblings share the second bedroom. Her father sleeps on a mattress in the garage. Julia says, “We’ve just kind of been living on top of each other.”Not only that, but their house has some problems including plumbing. Not only do they have to work around sharing a bathroom with 7 people, but they also have to deal with a faulty plumbing system that sometimes leaks into the bathroom. Julia’s landlords haven’t fixed this problem even though it has been happening since before they moved in.
Along with plumbing problems their house opens up to an alleyway that has consistent safety issues. Julia gets worried about her daughters because of some of the people that frequent the alleyway. She says, “with the alleyway facing straight to our house, and then knowing that to me it just makes me wonder, you know who comes around my house?”[mk_image src=”https://habitattucson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/julia-russell-daughter-in-hardhat_0108-scaled.jpg”]When Julia got the call from us letting her know she had been accepted it was a breath of fresh air. After years of struggle finally there was hope for the future. Knowing that a home is in her future takes alot of the stress off of her shoulders. She says how this situation is concrete and at the end of the journey she’ll be able to provide a future for her girls.
Julia has been really enjoying completing her hours at the worksite, saying that she has made many friends, and wants to have them over for dinner. She’s even starting dreaming about designing her future home! She wants to use the knowledge she gains from the build site to further customize her house and make it feel special.[mk_image src=”https://habitattucson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/julia-russell_0054-scaled.jpg”]Julia is counting down the hours and days left until she gets to move her family into her new home and is really excited for the opportunity to become a homeowner. After everyday volunteering at the jobsite, she updates her timeline until the big day that she gets to move in.
To Julia and her two daughters, home means peace of mind. Peace of mind away from the safety issues from her old neighborhood, from the leaky bathroom and cramped space. She wants to start fresh with her kids and give them the future that they deserve. “My home will be a sanctuary for me and my babies to peacefully live at, and to peacefully grow. To become ourselves.”[mk_mini_callout title=”Get Involved” button_text=”Get Involved” button_url=”/get-involved”]You can change lives like Julia’s. Get involved today![/mk_mini_callout]