Some Habitat participants have the opportunity to live in a Habitat house before applying to build their own. Renting a Habitat house has many advantages. Because each family is unique, each is able to gauge its wants and needs accordingly. This was the case of Jazmin (24), her husband, Jorge (23), and their three-year-old daughter, Emily. Jazmin recalls a positive experience before her house was built. “We were renting a house in the Skipper Colony. We were there about eight months, so we could see what it was like.”
As much as the setup worked, Jazmin and Jorge wanted to have the opportunity to own their very own home. “We wanted a new house because we didn’t want to rent anymore,” She tells me. “Also, renting has become more expensive. My husband already works long hours as a Machine Operator at a local furniture company, and I’m working as a teacher, which can be hard on both of us sometimes. It didn’t make sense to live somewhere that was never really going to be ours.”
The change has been extremely rewarding.“It’s been 3 months since we moved into our new house, and it feels great, thanks to God. It’s safe and stable, there is no need to pay other people for something we don’t own. The experience was beautiful, especially getting to know the people who made our house possible. I hope that they return this year and that we see each other again.”
When we mention that the group will be coming back in 2017, Jazmin’s eyes sparkle, and she claps her hands together in delight. She describes her favorite moment with the team. “There was a beautiful dinner in which we ate together. They danced and sang, and we enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. On the last night, we took a lot of photos. We’re even Facebook friends!” She pulls out her phone and begins to explain each image. Her face glows with recollection. It is clear that working with Habitat has impacted her family’s life for years to come.
Now that she has a house and yard, little Emily can freely enjoy riding her tricycle.