A Happy Turn of Events
Simon, Teresa, and their four children needed a new home with more space and more privacy. "Where are we going to find an affordable apartment? Most places that have what we need are too expensive," said Simon. For Teresa, a new home meant lots of space for her children to play in, "A garden for vegetables is nice, too," she added happily.
Simon and Teresa had been renting a home on White Rock Avenue when Habitat began building two new homes right next door. In a fortunate turn of events, Habitat Waukesha purchased the home they were renting as part of its neighborhood revitalization efforts. Simon and Teresa asked about the new homes being built and were told about Habitat's homeownership program. They decided to apply for a home of their own.
"We never thought we would be able to buy a home. We've never applied for a mortgage," Simon said. Just one month later, Simon and Teresa were on their way to becoming future homeowners.
Neither Simon nor Teresa had experience building homes, but they looked forward to learning. Like all Habitat Homeowners, they each contributed 250 hours of "sweat equity" by working on the construction of their own homes. When working on their house, Simon and Teresa got to know their new neighbor, Jenny, another future Habitat homeowner. They also worked alongside the hundreds volunteers who make Habitat's mission possible.
"We know it means more responsibilities, but it's a dream to be able to raise our children in the city where they were born," Simon said. Their new home is only a few blocks from the house they rented on White Rock Avenue. Teresa is grateful that her children will not have to change schools and leave all of their friends behind.
On Saturday, July 22, less than a year after they began their journey with Habitat Waukesha, Simon, Teresa, and their children received the keys to their new home after a special double-home dedication with their new neighbor, Jenny.
The home dedication was attended by Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, and more than 60 Habitat volunteers and supporters. "We could not have done this without our groups of community volunteers and their selfless acts of labor and love," said Diane McGeen, Executive Director of Habitat Waukesha.
What was once a single blighted property is now two homes that have transformed the quiet street into a lovely, flourishing neighborhood. "It's making the neighborhood better, it's making the city better, and it's making lives better," said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly.
Your support helps parents like Simon and Teresa build a decent place to call home for their family. No gift is too small. Please consider making a donation to Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County today!