I wake up every morning with gratitude because my family and I are so blessed. As an immigrant from Ghana working and going to school to provide for my family, I never lost sight of reaching my dream of owning a home. Despite facing many obstacles and challenges, I was able to graduate from Rutgers University and land my dream job as a teacher.
Prior to becoming a Habitat homeowner, my family and I endured horrible living conditions. Admittedly, it still brings me to tears thinking of this time in my life. I rented a one-bedroom apartment in Elizabeth with my mom, husband, and two young children. The apartment was old, depressing, and extremely small. So small that only a love seat could fit in the living room. We felt trapped as if we were living in a dungeon with nowhere to escape. To make matters worse, the neighborhood wasn’t any better either. It was infested with mice and roaches which often made their way into our home. I knew this was not the life I was destined to live with my family. My husband I were determined to make life better for our children.
Our life began to change when we were introduced to Habitat for Humanity. After our first homeowner seminar, we signed up to join the program and become Partner Families. Within a year, we became proud first-time homeowners. The whole experience was amazing! As a family, we provided over four hundred sweat equity hours building our home and other Partner Family homes. The experience was very fulfilling and we learned many new skills. We now know the ins and outs of our house and can resolve any minor issue that may occur on our own.
We were blessed with a four-bedroom home with a backyard and porch. It is hard to believe but the entirety of our one-bedroom apartment could fit into our current living room space. My heart is full as I watch my children play and laugh in our home. Our house is filled with love. The course of our lives changed seemingly overnight because wonderful people with huge hearts dedicated their time and money to help make a difference.
Words cannot express our appreciation for Habitat. My children have a home they can be proud of and it is all because of the support of generous donors and selfless volunteers. Because of Habitat, we are finally living the American Dream!
Thank you for making our house a home.