Stories

Shelly

My name is Shelly I have one daughter who is 2 and a half years old.

I have been asked what home means to me; home is a feeling of comfort, stability, security, my safe haven. Home is a smell of my favorite Scentsy home fragrance, the smell of a home cooked meal prepared in my very own kitchen. The sounds of kids playing and giggling, the laughter and chatter of visitors, dogs barking outside, or just me and my daughter spending quality time watching TV or jamming out to our favorite music. Home is not only a place where you live it’s a feeling, and a place where you create memories with the people you love most.

I moved back to the Gift Lake Metis Settlement almost two years ago after living in Edmonton for almost 10 years. Gift Lake is my home community and is where I want to raise my daughter. I grew up here and I want that same sense of belonging and closeness for her with our family and community. I am looking forward to creating new memories in our brand new home, I never thought that this would happen for me and it just so happened to be perfect timing. I have been a renter for the past 12 years and it gives me a sense of relief that I will now be paying towards something that I own instead of just a roof over my head.

I have an office at the local school where I see most of the kids who will also be living in the Habitat houses; they are as equally excited as I am. I believe their point of view and excitement should also be included in my speech. Here are some of the comments that were made:

“I get to have my own room”

“It’s bigger”

“It’s going to be nice”

“I get to have a big basement and my own room”

and “can I come visit you”?

I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and thanks again to everyone who made this possible for myself and the partner families.

 

Mark

My name is Mark I am 13 years old I am in grade 8.  I feel so blessed and excited as our family will take this new chapter of our life. I am so grateful that we are now part of the community that helps many families reach their dreams.  Today is the day we’ve been waiting for.

Having a home is having a strong foundation especially for every child. I describe home as the starting place of love, hope, and dreams. A home is a place where I feel the love of my family, relatives, and friends. This is where I learn how to become a better person every day. This is where I get my energy to get through another day. This is a place of hope where I learn how to get back on my feet, when things are not going well, and having that hope that tomorrow will be better day. This is where my dream of becoming a basketball player someday starts, because I have a place where I can spend watching my favourite sports on TV and do my research on how to enhance my skills in basketball. Having a home is everything to me.  This is where I build myself as a person to become a good citizen today and in the future.

Moving to a new place means meeting new friends and being in a new community. I just moved to a new school nearby, and at a very short time I have gained new friends already. My family and I are looking forward to know our new neighbours and friends. I am also looking forward to have my very own room for the very first time and this is really exciting for me.

With all the hard work and passion of all the people who work together to make this possible to us and other families, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. A decent shelter to our family is finally a dream come true. To all the volunteers and donors for your never ending and generous support of Habitat for Humanity – a big and warm thank you. Thank you Habitat for this wonderful opportunity.

 

 

 Sahar

Years ago, my family, three children ages 12-19, immigrated to Canada. As a single parent, I struggled to get on my feet in a country where I literally knew no one.  The major financial challenge I always struggled with was the rent cost of the two-bedroom apartment. Luckily enough, I managed to get a job. However, the job was not steady hours and so I prayed and prayed for someone to go on maternity leave, on vacation, or to maybe win the lottery because that simply meant food on the table for my children and warm shelter.

Our old apartment was very small, expensive and some neighbors were challenging enough even for the RCMP. In November of 2015, we moved to Neufeld Landing. What a change! My two boys have their own bedrooms and I share a bedroom with my daughter. I can welcome more friends more often because my living room space is bigger. Also, the neighbors are sweet and nice. Two months before we moved, we all became Canadian citizens and then had a home-sweet-home welcome to our Habitat home.

Our journey to become homeowners was not easy because we were required to fulfill 500 hours of sweat equity. With wise planning and a very detailed excel sheet, we did it! Yes, my daughter, my son and I would volunteer every Saturday. We didn’t miss a volunteering day on school spring break, school Christmas break, school summer holiday or any other breaks.

I strongly recommend Habitat program to families looking forward to owning a home one day. I personally learn new things around my home it all the time; most important I have been empowered by Habitat’s training sessions on maintenance, insurance, estate planning, etc.

We really appreciate Habitat.

~ Sahar