Before my family become involved with Habitat for Humanity Okanagan, the biggest challenge I was facing was living in a neighbourhood where there was lots of drugs use. My kids were scared to go outside and yet I couldn’t save for a down payment to buy a home.
I heard about Habitat from a friend and mentor so I applied. When I was approved for a Habitat Home, oh my gosh, I remember I was tying my daughter’s skates and I was over the moon excited. It was amazing.
We started packing boxes that night!
Now that we are in the program, I am building equity in my house. That is huge. I am working and am saving RRSPs and my workplace also contributes. We have safe place to live and a home where my kids can bring friends. My children are now 17, 14 and 13.
Habitat Families have to donate 500 hours of volunteer time to qualify for their program. I volunteered with my family and friends at the Penticton ReStore. I was able to take a team of family helpers with me and pumped out the hours. It was an amazing experience having everyone pitching in to provide my family with a home. The staff and volunteers at the store were amazing too. I had a house warming with friends and family to thank them for their support.
If I meet anyone who is considering becoming a Habitat Family I’d say, why wouldn’t they consider it? Do it! Get your application in. It is a gift and a blessing. Don’t be daunted by the volunteer hours you have to put in. You can get help. 500 hours as a single parent and full time worker is hard but getting a team together the hours just came off.
I think our local Habitat is run by great people who support families. I can’t say enough about Neil, Lorraine, Cheryl and Chris. The volunteers are amazing too!