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Renee with her children

By Sarah Schaub

Fear for her children’s future and safety used to keep Renee up at night. Before Habitat, she and her three boys lived in an unsafe neighborhood—in a small and expensive two-bedroom apartment.

“I really struggled,” Renee said. “I had to work two-to-three jobs just to provide for my kids.”

The long days and nights she spent working kept her away from her family.

“My son’s teacher told me that he would break down at school because he missed spending time with his mom,” she said.  “That was so upsetting to me—but there was nothing I could do. I had to work so much just so we could survive.”

Renee struggled like many American families do. In fact, 1 in 6 American households pay more than half of their monthly income on housing.

When Renee was introduced to Habitat, she was relieved to know there was a solution for her and her family.

“Doing the work, it was easy. So many people were there to help me along the way.”

After Renee moved in to her Habitat home, she endured significant hardship with the loss of a loved one.

“It wasn’t easy,” she recalled. “But the people in this neighborhood are like family and really helped me.”

Now, having lived in her Habitat home for more than four years, Renee says her boys are happier than ever, and she no longer feels afraid for their well-being and safety.

“My boys can play in the neighborhood and go over to their friends’ house,” Renee said. “Here I know they are safe. And in this community, we all take care of each other.”

The affordability of her home has allowed her to cut back to one job. As a result, she now has more time with her family.

“I am home every night by 4:00 PM, and we get to have dinner together as a family. My kids no longer feel like they don’t get enough time with me.”

Renee recently remarried and has a four-month old little girl named Ella. Now that she has achieved the strength, stability, and self-reliance she needs to build a better future, she plans to grow her family and is excited about continuing her education.

“I want to show my boys that you can do anything, no matter how old you are. I want to go to school. Maybe become a medical assistant.”

Renee says her dreams for the future have become a reality, thanks to the stability and security of her Habitat home.

“The money I pay toward my mortgage every month, it will come back to me,” she said. “It’s like having my own extra secret savings account somewhere.”

Your financial gift today can help more families like Renee’s achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a solid foundation for the future. Donate today.