Nearly 10 years ago, Gregoria and her son David travelled to North Carolina from their home in Seattle to visit family. They felt welcomed and decided to move here, looking for a new start.
But since then, they have struggled to find a decent, affordable place to live. They have moved three times since, and the rentals they could afford were too small, poorly maintained and sometimes in unsafe neighborhoods.
Gregoria learned about Our Towns Habitat’s homeownership program through our ReStores, where she shopped to save money on things the family needed for the household. The family applied with Habitat after the mobile home they rented had a significant fire in the kitchen, forcing yet another move.
The mobile home was older and had not been kept up; the fire sparked because of faulty wiring. The family found another rental—a cramped two-bedroom—but they knew it was time to find a better answer.
That answer was to partner with Habitat to build their own affordable home. And it took the whole family coming together to make it happen. Gregoria is disabled and on limited income, so her son David is buying the home with her, and they will own it together.
David and his older brother, John, who moved to North Carolina a few years after Gregoria and David, have together worked hard to earn most of the “sweat equity” hours the family needed, so that Gregoria could care for their younger sister, Persia. At age 6, Persia is still affectionately referred to as the “baby” of the family.
John recalls helping his father do construction work when he was younger, but said, “to build our own home is really an experience.”
John is a full-time student at Central Piedmont Community College, and is just a few credits away from his business administration degree. David is also a student at CPCC, studying criminal justice while working full-time. They both say that having stable housing will help them focus on their studies, in turn helping them better support their family.
But what the whole family is most excited about as they move into their new home is being able to provide a home for Persia to grow up in—and a yard where she can plant the garden she has always dreamed of.