Categories: Habitat Happenings, Family Stories, Habitat Tucson

Where Heart + Home Meet: Claudia

Claudia, a lifelong Tucsonan, is a single mother of 4 and a grandmother of 7.

She’s from a big family and loves to cook for her children and grandchildren. At every party, everyone is always asking about her specialty dishes.

Now that she’s doing sweat equity to buy a home from Habitat Tucson, she often makes burritos for the construction team!

Right now, Claudia and her youngest daughter Briseyda live together.

Their home is half of a small duplex with thin walls. Their neighbors are always arguing and fighting. With all the loud drinking parties and men around, they “try to keep the windows closed and keep to themselves.” Claudia says, “Sometimes we hear gunshots as well.”

As a single mom, she raised her kids all by herself with only one income and no child support.

Carrying the burden of rent and expenses alone has made it hard for Claudia to find suitable, safe housing that she can afford.

She learned about Habitat from her niece Mirella, who completed the program and recently moved into a Habitat home in Marana.

When Claudia witnessed Mirella doing sweat equity, she was really impressed. She knew that she wanted to be a part of that process.

Claudia says, “People don’t know what an empowering experience and opportunity Habitat provides the future homebuyers.”

When Claudia found out that she was accepted into the program, she says, “My heart almost came out of my body. I couldn’t sleep for three days from excitement!”

Now that they have begun working towards buying a home, Claudia says, “Briseyda is normally so shy, but she is enjoying sweat equity so much!”

Briseyda adds, “I thought construction would be much harder, but I’ve been learning. I’d offer a word of encouragement to people thinking about applying. Habitat gives amazing opportunities to people who don’t always have them. It’s a chance to get a house but it’s more than that, too.”

“For the first time, it will be my house. I’ve never had a place to call my own. All my hard work will have paid off,” Claudia says.

She really feels a sense of pride in working towards her Habitat house- and she’s proud to be able to show everyone that she did it. “I hope it will inspire them to see that when there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Claudia can’t wait to have her own kitchen so she can cook for the whole family.

“All my family under one roof- all my kids, all my grandkids. I want to cook for everyone! In my current home, there’s no space, it’s not even possible.”

When we asked Claudia if there was anything else she felt people should know she replied; “I’m so grateful for all the volunteers, employees, and donors. The construction guys and staff have been so encouraging. I feel so excited and emotional at the same time.”

“Habitat has been a beautiful experience for me and for my daughter. I’m without words.”


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