“The 6-Month Money Management Seminar and the budgeting you have to do are the real deal… you’ve gotta really budget, it’s hard work! People may think this program is a walk in the park but it’s not. I’m learning all kinds of things though!”
Every Homeowner Has a Story
Future Habitat Homeowner
Suzann is an open, funny and friendly woman who lives with her two dogs, King (10), a Pomeranian-Poodle mix, and Melo (4 months), a Shar-pei-Leopard dog mix she adopted from a nearby rescue. She recently lost her beloved Labrador mix, Rozay, just before adopting Melo. She loves being a “dog mom” but they are far from the only loved ones she has to shower with affection and attention. Between her 1 biological brother and 5 step siblings, Suzann is also the aunt of 11 nieces and nephews and godmother to several more children. Needless to say, all the kids keep her life busy, active and happy, and she loves being one of their biggest fans and supporters. “I love going to watch my nieces and nephews’ games. Some of them play basketball or football, and I have one future soccer star,” she proudly shares.
When she’s not taking her dogs to the pool—Melo loves the water! —or cheering on her nieces, nephews and godchildren from the stands, Suzann balances her work in billing for an oncology business and the Habitat homeownership program. She learned about Habitat for Humanity while helping her friend, Lacey, obtain “friends and family” hours as she made her way through the program. “I paid off some debt and got everything in order. The first time, I got denied, but I got everything taken care of and then I was accepted,” she explains.
The Habitat homeownership program is a rigorous one. Suzann will put in a minimum of 300 hours building her own home, helping build other homes, learning about being a good neighbor, balancing her budget, and serving in the community. It means less free time, but it will all be worth it when she’s finished. “My friends know my motto is now ‘Saturdays are for Habitat.’” She states that the program is challenging but rewarding. “The 6-Month Money Management Seminar and the budgeting you have to do are the real deal… you’ve gotta really budget, it’s hard work! People may think this program is a walk in the park but it’s not. I’m learning all kinds of things though! I’m excited for the home maintenance class and the interior design class.”
A new, secure place to call her own will mean a lot to Suzann. She’s lived in the same duplex for the past 7 years and shares her frustration over realizing she’s paid more in rent than the building is worth, an experience many renters share. “On top of that, there are just certain issues with the property that have taken longer to get fixed than they should have,” she says.
Her Habitat home will be a new, strong foundation where she will build equity and have control over the space. “I’m finally going to have my own home and my money will be going somewhere that actually benefits me instead of into someone else’s pocket.” For this and more, she is extremely thankful to the folks who will sponsor her and the volunteers who put in work on construction sites.
Once she moves in, she will be able to put all her new knowledge to good use, decorating and maintaining her new home. “Maybe I’ll start a family,” she shares. “And if not, my nieces and nephews and godbabies will have a place to come stay.”