A “hand up” in Edson

 

Jennifer and her husband Joseph used to rent a home in a four-plex in the community of Edson. It was a two bedroom house, but they could only utilize one of the rooms for sleeping, and so the family of four crammed into one room to sleep each night. They also had a communal washing machine with laundry available to them only one day a week. With young children, this set up was not ideal however, they made life work while they looked for a plan to move their growing family into a better situation. Jennifer had doubts that an opportunity would come available. They had been living in Edson since 2016, and nothing had come up. When she had almost abandoned hope, she heard about Habitat for Humanity.

She spoke to one of her friends who told her about her experience living in a Habitat home. She was told about all the benefits and was super excited about the prospect. However, the 500 hours of volunteer time seemed undoable. How would she complete the hours while taking care of her family? This question stopped her and Joseph for a quite a while, but then they decided to give it a go, and it was a great experience. The 500 volunteer hours ended up being an enriching experience for the couple. They helped with various tasks at the local museum and helped out during community events, such as Canada Day. When they completed their hours they felt empowered and were so proud.

Becoming homeowners has changed life for Jennifer and Joseph. Their children now enjoy playing outside more often. It is safer for them to be out in the front yard with a window for Jennifer to watch their 10-year old, 5-year old, and 2 year-old playing – and the bonus is that their lawn is not on a highway like their former home. Yes, safer indeed. And yet safety was just one way that benefited the family. There were other benefits that the couple noted.

Jennifer said, “We feel more secure and stable in our Habitat home. Since we own our home, we can do what we’d like without checking with a landlord. Now we can make changes without asking. It’s so nice having more freedom.”

The family really enjoys hiking and biking, and so they hope to be able to do even more of that in the summer months. When they’re not physically active, they enjoy just chilling around the house and watching TV and playing games with the kids.

The couple sends out a huge thank you to everyone who helped them become homeowners. The Habitat program has been transformational for their family, and they know that volunteers and donors continue to leave a lasting impact on so many others.