Another family has earned not only a home but a new perspective as part of Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative. The program is an expansion of Habitat’s existing BuildBetter program that will build more than 250 climate-resilient and energy-efficient homes that will help hundreds of families in need of affordable housing over three years. Jessica’s road to home ownership was not easy, but she feels it will change her and her son’s lives for the better.
Jessica lived with her grandmother for the past few years in her hometown of Berthoud, Colorado. This allowed her to help her grandmother, pay cheaper rent and save money, but she also had to share a room with her nine-year-old son, Eliot, and didn’t have enough space for them and their belongings.
“I have been craving my independence for a long time, but the state of the housing market has left me feeling like that was out of my reach,” says Jessica. “I felt lost and stuck and didn’t even know where to start, or even where to turn.”
A friend who was approved for a Habitat home urged Jessica to apply to Habitat for Humanity Berthoud’s home ownership program. “I was very skeptical because I doubted that I would be accepted. I was so unsure of myself, but she insisted that I apply and encouraged me to go for it,” said Jessica. “I am so glad that she did. I felt like so many people are deserving of this opportunity, but I doubted that I was worthy of it myself.”
Jessica applied and was approved in the fall of 2021. She completed financial and homeowner education classes and completed many of her sweat equity hours at the Habitat ReStore. “I really enjoyed helping the team at the store, as well as helping the customers. I was also able to put in plenty of hours at the building site.” Jessica not only helped construct her own home, but she also worked on her new neighbor’s home as well, and helped her get ready to move in.
Jessica’s new two-bedroom, two-bathroom home has an on-demand gas hot water heater and a high efficiency gas furnace. In addition, there is above code insulation in the walls and ceiling, and the home is Energy Star rated. The family also received an energy-efficient refrigerator and range, which Whirlpool Corporation donates to every Habitat built home in North America.
It was so rewarding to see the house come together from the bones up. Not many people get to help build their house, and it is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced,” she said. “I put my blood, sweat and tears into this house and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Jessica feels that the experience of gaining her own home was worth the hard work. “It was so rewarding to see the house come together from the bones up. Not many people get to help build their house, and it is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced,” she said. “I put my blood, sweat and tears into this house and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Jessica has gained a new sense of confidence in herself as a result of purchasing her own home. “I now see that I am worthy of this blessing. I have worked so hard to make this dream a reality. It’s such a great feeling to know that I set out to achieve this goal and I am actually making it happen. I have also gained so much confidence in myself.”
“My world has changed in more ways than one,” she said. “Aside from being able to actually have a house of my own and achieving my dream to raise my son in Berthoud, I now have so much hope for the future.”