“[My daughter] doesn’t fully understand what’s going on yet, but I can’t wait for her to actually see the finished house I put my sweat and tears into. [It will be] somewhere we can both grow, but not grow out of. Just knowing that it’s ours will be wonderful. It will be a place where we can live our best lives.”
Every Homeowner Has a Story
Future Habitat Homeowner
When asked about her family, Dorothy, a friendly and goal-oriented young woman, lovingly shares all about her daughter, Myrah (4). Myrah is an outgoing, energetic child who inherited her mother’s athletic genes—she’s in gymnastics classes which Dorothy volunteers to teach once a week, because she was a competitive gymnast for nine years. Myrah likes “being a princess” and “having tea parties,” and she is eager to start school, despite Dorothy’s apprehension about leaving her child with strangers for the first time.
Myrah is Dorothy’s only child, but Dorothy herself grew up in a larger family as one of five siblings. She explains that growing up, although she didn’t always have everything she wanted, she had everything she needed, but she started hanging out with the wrong crowd. “Getting pregnant pretty much saved me,” she explains. “It changed my whole life.” When she learned she was having a baby, Dorothy sat down and made big plans for her future. “I knew I wanted to be established and settled and living in my own home by the time my daughter turned five,” she says. Since then, she’s been dedicated to improving her circumstances, saving to get a vehicle and working her way up from one slightly better job to the next. Now, she works as a loan sales associate and explains it’s the best job she’s ever had.
Dorothy and Myrah live in a 600 square foot apartment. With the cost of rent and Dorothy being a single parent, it’s the best place they can currently afford, but the apartment doesn’t have much indoor space and no outdoor space for Myrah to run and play. Dorothy learned about Habitat on social media—she had a few acquaintances who had shared about going through the homeownership program. When she finally decided to apply, she was nervous. “I applied in the middle of a pandemic, which understandably slowed things down. I kept asking [the staff] a bunch of questions but everyone was so nice and didn’t ever get annoyed with me emailing over and over.”
Now Dorothy is 100 hours of sweat equity deep into our program. Balancing being a single mother, a fulltime worker and a Future Homeowner has its challenges, but Dorothy knows that although Myrah may not understand why her mom is so busy right now, the payoff will be well worth it. “She doesn’t fully understand what’s going on yet,” Dorothy explains. “But I can’t wait for her to actually see the finished house I put my sweat and tears into.” That finished home will be a secure place to call home and make their own. She envisions it as “somewhere we can both grow, but not grow out of. Just knowing that it’s ours will be wonderful. It will be a place where we can live our best lives.”
Dorothy knows she is working to build a better future for herself and her daughter, and she’s thankful to everyone involved who has given time, money and energy to walk alongside her on this path, including the ReStore staff, the Core Crew and her family. She’s also enjoyed the camaraderie shared between all of the other Future Homeowners in the program. She’s excited for what the future will hold once she’s in her own home with a low, affordable mortgage that will allow her to prioritize the things that bring her family stability and joy. “I’ve been saving and working really hard for some time now to create a savings account for Myrah that I’m building up for her to have when she grows up. I want her to be able to do anything she wants in life, no limitations.” Building this home is the next step toward that better life!