Categories: Family Stories, Habitat Tucson

Mia & Manny

He’s her dad, her protector and her superhero. Everything that he does, he does for her — including pursuing homeownership.

Manuel Sandoval and his daughter Mia are the best of friends. He’s her dad, her protector, and her superhero. Everything that he does, he does for her — including pursuing homeownership.

And while the father-daughter duo have come a long way together, facing every challenge as a team, they still haven’t found that one true place they can make their home.

That’s when he began to consider Habitat Tucson’s homeownership program.

Just over a year ago, Manuel had volunteered at a Habitat Tucson event. He said it was a fun thing he was able to do in his free time between his two jobs as a city bus driver and a part-time employee at a local ice cream shop. But at that point, he never considered himself eligible to buy a Habitat home.

“I saw it and thought, ‘this is great,’” he said. “Still it sounds too good to be true,” he said.

After being selected, he saw the volunteers and fellow future homeowners at the build site and suddenly realized how real the Habitat program is and how dedicated people are to carrying out Habitat’s ongoing mission to build homes and hope.

“I want more than­­ a place to stay. I want a place to live.”

Mia looks forward to the opportunity to own a dog, where in an apartment complex setting, she never would have been allowed one. The apartment where they currently reside has a constant influx of transient populations in addition to the associated pains that come with renting.

Manuel added that everything he does is to provide his daughter with a better quality of life than the one he knew.

“It’s definitely an accomplishment,” he said of homeownership. “Home is a place where you can build memories. This house will be a home.”

To help more families like Manny’s have a chance to build themselves a better life, please make a donation in support of Habitat’s homeownership programs.

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