Single parents, dual-parents, adult children caring for their older parents, families from the United States, Togo, Thailand, Burma, Ethiopia, Russia, Poland, Mexico and many other countries from around their world partner with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to buy an affordable house and create stability for their families. Even though they come from many walks of life, they are all striving for similar goals – helping their children have a brighter and better future.
“My children will have a backyard to play. It allows my kids to have more freedom,” says one of the future Habitat homeowners. This statement is typical of future homeowners when they’re asked why they want to buy an affordable house. When asked what their next goal is after buying a house, nearly all of them will say “Saving money for my kids’ education.” Buying a Habitat house doesn’t just mean stability today; it means stability for the future and reaching new goals for the families and their children.
This year we asked children of Habitat partner families to write an essay about what their Habitat house means to them. The responses were enlightening and we had a difficult time choosing a winner, but the overall theme was that their Habitat home provided them a foundation on which to build a strong future. The essays come from children who live in a variety of environments, types of homes and communities, but the same rings true for them all: They reached this stability through affordable homeownership.
Families, and children in particular, are greatly impacted by the place where they live. We believe children who live in a healthy, stable home are more likely to be physically healthier and achieve higher educational outcomes. In each essay, this idea rang true for staff and volunteers.
“I share the room with my sister and I have my peace corner to read and do my homework. My grades are getting better at school. I am receiving A+ and B+ since we moved in the Habitat new house. It’s so calm and peaceful.” ~ Vera, Age 11
"My Habitat home is where we, as a family and friends show love and kindness. A place where family is everyone you know and a place where you help those in need." ~ Symphonie, Age 12
"My home to me, means a good place to live in that I don't have to be shy of" ~ Samrawit, Age 9
"What my Habitat home gave to me is a neighborhood, a community of new people. That helps each other and is friendly. What my Habitat home gave to me is a new life and I appreciate it." ~ Hana, Age 13
"Now I can run around and do as I please. I could bang on walls and no one person would care to notice. But whenever I turn on the faucet or turn on a light switch, I remember the people who cared to help those." ~ Bissie, age 11
"I learned something, that it's not what you want that counts, but what you need that counts and like you said, everybody should have a decent place to call home and that you gave my family a place to call home and a place to love." ~ Tsion, Age 10
"Habitat house means so much to me because it makes me feel like I am home. This house makes me feel more like American and my American friends. Now in the Habitat house, I don't feel like a guest in the U.S." ~ Aleksey, Age 13
"My Habitat house is good because you have a place to sleep, a clean bathroom and a nice warm place to eat." ~ Nefertiti, Age 12
“The biggest reason why I like my neighborhood is that everyone is so nice and I learn a lot about all the different cultures. For example, how I learned about the Asian culture. I have also learned to appreciate Ethiopian food … Another reason why I like my neighborhood is that my school is about 6 blocks away and it is a really good, caring and helpful school.” ~Collin, Age 10
Reading through the quotes, you get a little taste of the stories shared with us. It reminded many of us why our work is so important. Hopefully you are reminded, too!
We’d love to share more stories and explain how you or someone you know can be a Habitat homeowner. If you or a friend would like to learn more about how to buy a house with a 0% interest mortgage and see if you qualify for our Homeownership Program, read more online or call us at 612-331-4090 ext. 1.