As a single mom of two kids under the age of 6, Chelsea describes her life in one word: busy.
Between working full time and caring for her young children, keeping her head above water can feel like a struggle. Chelsea wants nothing more for her kids to have a stable, safe place to grow up—and that’s why she applied to join Habitat Tucson.
“When I got the call from Habitat, I told everybody that would listen. I was so excited,” Chelsea says. She was telling people at work, people at church, even casual conversations at the grocery store—and encouraged others to look into the Habitat homeownership program too. The excitement was infectious! Already, a few of her friends have applied!
Chelsea rolled up her sleeves and eagerly began her sweat equity. Every homebuyer helps build their future home, as well as the homes of their Habitat Tucson neighbors. It’s been a wonderful experience so far.
“You’re not just getting a house. You’re definitely working for it,” she says. “You don’t know how a house is built until you’re actually building it with your own hands. So it’ll be nice to know that my family will have a safe, stable house.”
The work has definitely been worth it. Right now, Chelsea and her kids are living in a cramped 2-bedroom apartment. Rent is through the roof. “At least half—and maybe a little bit more—of my total income goes just to rent.”
The kids are cramped together in a tiny room that can barely fit their beds and dresser. After the rainy monsoon season, the roof started to leak. The kitchen ceiling bulged from the weight of the water, and mold bloomed.
Even the apartment complex itself has gotten worse over the years. Someone rammed the gate with their car, and it was never replaced. The apartment playground was removed. And the pool was closed all summer. All these supposed amenities she was paying for with rent weren’t actually available.
Chelsea wants so much more for her children. A safe yard where they can play. A strong roof that never leaks. Enough room inside to eat, and play, and learn without crashing into one another.With an affordable Habitat Tucson mortgage, she won’t be burdened the way she is now with rent. Her dream is to get her kids a wooden play set with swings or a trampoline for the backyard. She wants to give them a safe haven that can never be taken away.
Chelsea isn’t the only single mom in the Habitat Tucson program. So many of her future neighbors have so much in common with her—and remind her that she’s not alone. They’re all in this together.“That’s definitely been my favorite part,” Chelsea says. “Getting to know your future neighbors and working alongside them—you build a sense of community. We can all celebrate each other’s successes and celebrate each other’s homes because we get to become friends. Because we’re working alongside each other every day for the same goal.”[mk_image src=”https://habitattucson.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/tagline_ssss.png” image_size=”full”]