Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders
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Habitat For Humanity® Winnipeg - The Future Builders

The e-Builder: Issue 24, 2011

Homeowner Story

Homeowner StoryNicole is originally from Saskatchewan and moved to Winnipeg in 2001 with her husband and young son. Unfortunately, life offers many challenges and Nicole soon became a single mom.

Her primary concern was providing living accommodations for her children, but all she could afford was low-income subsidized housing. Being a very protective mother, Nicole feared for the safety of her three children as their home had been broken into twice, experienced a gang fight in her front yard, and had to call the police on numerous occasions because of violent neighbours.

In addition to her safety concerns, the family was disrupted on a regular basis due to the precautionary bedbug spraying of their apartment. Every month the family had to put all their belongings into protective bags which made them feel like they were living out of suitcases in their own home. The negligent landlord hadn't fixed broken and leaking items for a few years even after repeated calls, leaving the family frustrated, distracted and very unsettled.

As a low-income worker and having moved around many times, Nicole knew her options were limited as she simply couldn't find any affordable, decent and safe place for her family to live. She was doing the best she could, working as a house cleaner and doing some office paperwork at an executive furnished apartment for the past five years. Nicole has an Educational Assistant Certificate and has worked in the Winnipeg School Division on and off since 2006 and is trying to get back on the substitute list.

Given her monthly income, and with three growing children, she was unable to improve their situation. Fortunately, Nicole became aware of Habitat for Humanity through television and the internet. She investigated further, met the criteria and soon applied. Nicole was accepted and is now very excited about this new opportunity to improve her family's life.

Through Habitat's affordable home ownership program she will now be able to provide a safer and healthier home, in a better environment, where the family can focus on all the good that life now has to offer. The children now have their own rooms and can invite friends over to 'hang out' or play sports in their backyard. They also will feel safer and more content, making it easier to focus more on their studies and improve their school grades. To say the children are "super-excited" is an understatement!

Nicole has plans to decorate their home to celebrate Halloween and Christmas. This newfound independence brings her great pride and satisfaction, as she now has room to invite family from Saskatchewan to visit and to also entertain her great 'second family' of many newfound Manitoba friends.

Affordable home ownership through Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg is already making a huge difference in the lives of Nicole and her three children.

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