Edith is a single mom with 2 children living in a one-bedroom apartment. She has been raising her children, Kiara and Kamil, by herself. “I didn’t choose to be a single mom. That just happened. I’ve been trying my best with my whole heart to give my kids everything that they need.”
The apartment is cramped for the three of them and the landlord doesn’t always fix things in a timely manner, plus they have been struggling to keep pests at bay. But the biggest issue is really the rising cost of rent.
Edith decided to apply to Habitat because, she says, “I need a house for them.” She remembers praying at night, just asking God, “If it’s from You, just give it to me. If it’s not, don’t.”
“And I’m so glad I applied. I didn’t believe it when I found out. I keep getting blessed.”
Now, she’s on the road to becoming a Habitat homeowner! The sweat equity process has been busy for Edith. Since she has a full-time job, and no one else to help or count on, she shares, “It’s hard getting up at 4:30 in the morning to get the kids ready and then get myself ready. It takes a lot to shuffle the kids around, get to construction, and then head off to work.”
Despite how busy it is, Edith has really loved learning throughout the construction process.
“The Habitat team and Volunteers teach you a lot; they don’t do anything for you, they work with you.” Edith values this hands-on education because, she says, “I’m gonna be by myself in the house, so I’m gonna need to do everything there.” When she’s taking the financial education classes, “it feels like ‘me time,’ because it’s time with just me, no kids. I’ve been learning a lot from the classes.”
Habitat Tucson’s monthly mortgage payments, which are calculated according to the income of the homebuyer, will make a big difference for Edith and allow her to save more than she was able to previously, even just living in a one-bedroom.
Looking into the future, Edith says, “We’ll be in one place and won’t have to move every year. My kids won’t have to switch schools. They’ll have a place to grow.”
Studies show that stable housing has a very positive effect on children’s educational outcomes.
Edith, Kiara, and Kamil will each be able to have their own rooms. They’ll even be able to host Christmas with Edith’s parents and brother!
“I would like to be able to invite people to my place,” Edith says.
She adds, “We’ll be able to decorate the house and go out into the yard!”
Right now, when Edith reflects on home, she realizes that even though she’s been an adult for quite some time, she still thinks about her parents’ house as her home. “When I go to their house, that’s when I feel like I’m going home.”
“But now, I’ll be going to my own home, and I know it’s going to be mine forever.”