Teachers Deserve Affordable Housing

As a 7th grade teacher at Mansfield Middle School for the past thirteen years, Elizabeth is no stranger to hard work, patience, and resilience. But Elizabeth, Cesar, and their four teenaged children Jailene, Jazelle, Gizelle, and Cesar Jr. have been renting a cramped house for the past six years. Everyone’s squeezed in tight. Privacy? Forget it! Not only is the house filled well beyond capacity, but also has flooring issues and a leak in the roof causing summertime mold. And in the winter, poor insulation led to huge heating bills.

Being accepted into the Habitat homeownership program this year has been life-changing.

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A New Beginning in Tucson: Singaye and Esperance’s Road to Homeownership

“Before the war, life in the Congo was easy. We worked. It was good. But then we couldn’t stay,” said Singaye, who after a long journey moved to Tucson with his wife Esperance and their five children – Joyce, Florence, Samson, Benny, and Isabella – as asylum seekers.

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Richard & Kaitlin’s Story

Growing up Richard moved over 20 times with his family. But he wanted something else for his children. Richard had known about Habitat for Humanity a long time and had even volunteered for Habitat in the past, but applying to own a Habitat home had never occurred to him. Look Mom, my friends!’ All these kids are going to grow up together and that’s what Habitat is.”

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A Room of One’s Own: Adriana’s Habitat Story

Currently, Adriana and her two sons, RJ and Gabriel, share one room in her parents’ home. The boys sleep in bunk beds one side of the room and Adriana crams her bed on the other side.

“I had one of those devastating feelings like I’ll never be able give my boys what my parents had given me and my sisters. But now all my dreams are coming true,” says Adriana, excited be building her home with her own two hands, just like her father did when he built her childhood home. “We’re doing it.”

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