With three young girls—Christina, who is 10, Arizona, who is 2, and Ella who is only a month and a half old—Jorge and Micaela are ready to stop moving from apartment to apartment each year. Each year rent increases have forced them to move. And each time their family grows, they need more rooms. “And the more rooms you have, the more the rent goes up!” Jorge explains. “We just want to settle down for them.”
“For me,” Micaela adds, “there is no place that I have where I can point and say, that’s my childhood. There’s no place for us to go back and gather together. And I hope that this home is somewhere where our kids can always come back.”
Right now they live in a townhome with a terrible leak coming from upstairs. “The floor is dripping,” Jorge says. “I called and called and they wouldn’t fix it.” The neighborhood doesn’t feel safe either. The family doesn’t go out when the sun goes down. Frequently, there are helicopters flying overhead looking for criminals. Sometimes their home has been blocked off while the police search their complex.
Moving into their new Habitat home will be such a huge relief! “I just want to be in a place where I know it’s mine and I can do what I want to do! Make it my own!” Micaela says.
They’re working very hard to save up for their down payment. Micaela works at the department manager of electronics at Wal-Mart. Jorge works as a corrections officer, but because it was an unsafe environment with long hours and a far commute, he wasn’t able to spend time his family or help raise his children. So he decided to go back and get his degree so he can change careers. “Right now I’m going to Pima to get my degree in computer systems administrations,” he says.
Their extended family has helped support them and watch the kids while Jorge and Micaela work on their sweat equity. They’ve already completed over 100 hours and are well on their way to purchasing their Habitat home! “Seeing all these random people out there building homes—it’s amazing,” Jorge says. “They take the time out of their life to help somebody build a house. It’s a bunch of people that come together and build communities!”
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10-year-old Christina is very excited about their future Habitat home. “It’s going to be new and fresh! It’s going to be exciting!”
An animal lover with 3 dogs and 1 cat, young Christina hopes to become a veterinarian someday. She says, “I think ‘home’ means it’s yours. You know how wolves have their own territory? It’s like if you imagine we are all wolves, it’s our territory. That’s what I think home means. It’s yours and only yours!”
For Micaela, “Home is a safe place to be yourself. A place you can always go back to no matter what.” Jorge adds, “For me, it’s stability. Being able to know that it’s your home. To me, a home is where your family is going to be.”