We are blessed to have media interns for Habitat for Humanity of Teller County. They previously lived in a Habitat home in another state. Read their story!
How Habitat for Humanity made a difference in our lives.
I met the woman that would be my wife for the first time in 2002. At the time, we both lived in a failing city called Gladwin, Michigan. This is a town that, at the time at least, was overrun by crime and corruption. With a relatively sparse population, the depravity found in this place was shocking. Police and civilians alike were destroying this once fine place from the inside. Jobs were so scarce that it became absurd to even bother looking for employment. It was a financial nightmare, and no longer even offered the physical security that small towns typically do.
My future wife, recently divorced and left on her own with three children, had applied for help with Habitat for Humanity. This was a fairly typical thing to do in Gladwin and she received word that she did qualify, but that she would be number four hundred and fifty in on the waiting list. Knowing that she did not have multiple decades to wait for a home, she wrote them back explaining her situation in great detail. She explained the dilapidated conditions of her father’s home, where she was staying with her three children. She explained that the water was undrinkable, and not fit to be used for showers. She explained that the propane tank used to keep the house heated was too small and often ran out before they could afford to refill it. Being without heat in northern Michigan is no small discomfort; it can mean life or death.
The house was far too small, too old, and too unsafe for three small children. Even with an attentive mother looking after them, something was bound to go terribly wrong if they continued to live there much longer. As sad as all of this sounds, she expected little help from anyone in this town which had all but given up. That is why she was so surprised to hear back from Habitat for Humanity in short order. Not only were they going to build her a house, but they had bumped her up to the top of the waiting list. Not only was she now first in line, but they were building her house in Sugar Springs, the only thriving area left in Gladwin county. Not only that, but they were allowing her to choose the location, layout, and all of the aesthetic details that they could possibly leave in her hands.
When I say that Habitat blessed her, I mean that it is entirely possible that they saved the health and welfare, and maybe even the lives of her children. When I met her, the construction of the house was nearly complete. We married about one month before it was ready for us to move in, and I was allowed to contribute to her required volunteer hours helping with the construction. It was the stability that this home offered, and the affordability, that allowed us to gain a degree of financial security. Within a few years, we were ready to move away from Gladwin and leave the beautiful home to Habitat, and another family in need. I am also happy to report that I recently visited Gladwin, and I saw a great deal of positivity and change from the broken city that I remembered.
Without a doubt, it was Habitat for Humanity that put my wife and I on the right track to stability and security.