Categories: Habitat Happenings, Family Stories, Habitat Tucson

Jennifer’s Women Build Journey

Jennifer was selected to be the 2022 Women Build Homebuyer.

Her home is built and funded primarily by funded by women in our community.

For Jennifer, home means a place where you can feel safe and comfortable.

But that does not describe the mobile home where her family of 5 currently resides.

The rooms are too small, the living room is jammed with toys, and her 22-year-old son sleeps on living room couch. Not to mention how the roof leaks so bad that the ceiling caved in. There’s no heat in winter, and no cooling in summer. When a window broke during a storm, the best Jennifer could do was cover it with cardboard. “The landlord won’t fix anything,” she says. “It’s kind of embarrassing—you don’t want people to come over and see your house like that.”

With the rental prices rising year over year in Tucson, this mobile home is the best she can afford right now. That’s when she saw a flyer advertising that Habitat was building homes in Marana. She applied to become a homeowner right away!

“I was shocked that they picked me,” she says. “I just feel like there’s people that are worse off than I am.”

Jennifer is a single parent working full-time as a cook at Marana Health Center, as part of a behavioral training program. She provides practical real-world training and experience for individuals the program serves, and feels true joy from helping members of her community improve their lives.

A person with such compassion and love of community was a perfect fit to become a Habitat Tucson homebuyer.

Jennifer has already started her sweat equity, and appreciates that she’ll become a homeowner with practical, hands-on knowledge about how to maintain her home.

“Nobody really knows trades anymore, so it’ll be cool to be able to like fix things on my own,” she says. “Plus it’s really cool to work right beside your neighbors. It’s nice to already have that community before we move in.”

During her sweat equity, Jennifer has helped build her future home as well as the homes of her fellow Habitat homebuyers. While working, she can’t help but imagine what her Habitat home will be like.

It feels almost like a fantasy: Working heating and plumbing. Enough room for her family to relax and play. A beautiful neighborhood filled with kind neighbors. And best of all—being able to have friends and family over.

But it isn’t a fantasy—it’s really going to happen!

“I’m just so thankful to be part of this program,” Jennifer says, holding back tears. “I just wish I did this a long time ago.”

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