New Braunfels native and mom of two boys, Candice looks forward to the day her family can have the space, safety and stability they need to grow.
“My oldest, Ryan, he is seven. He’s really into sports, very active. He’s really into karate and he thinks he’s a sensei,” said Candice. “My youngest is Rene, he just turned six. He likes to watch superheroes, cartoons… things like that. He’s my little nerdy boy.”
“They have their moments. There’s days when they’re best friends and then like 10 minutes later they hate each other and five minutes later they’re best friends again. They’re like night and day sometimes.”
Candice and her children currently live in a rent-controlled apartment unit where they’ve experienced a break-in, poor maintenance and even open walls in some rooms.
“It’s very old, very crowded,” Candice said. “There’s not a lot of room for us. As far as the management, they do have a high turnover rate. Things are not being taken care of like they should be as far as maintenance requests.”
“I’ve had maintenance requests that have been there since 2 years ago and they still haven’t fixed them,” Candice added.
The winter storm that caused a lot of damage to homes and apartments in the area in February of 2021 caused further issues for Candice’s current home.
“Since the storm happened, that takes priority because the majority of the residents had to move out… and so I’m living in my apartment, I’m one of the few residents that was able to stay there monthly, but I’m missing my wall where my laundry room is. I don’t have a dryer anymore because somebody broke it while they were working on my pipes and my living room is missing a wall, too,” Candice said.
In addition to the needed repairs, Candice and her family experienced a break in a few years ago that cause safety concerns for her today.
“My apartment was broken into and the locks on the front door… the person who broke into it, they pretty much busted it. In the winter and the summertime, my door doesn’t close. It doesn’t lock all the way,” said Candice. “I’ve told my maintenance, I’ve told my apartment managers and they’re like ‘oh yeah, we’ll fix it, we’ll fix it’ and all they do is…come with a hammer and pretty much kind of hammer the hardware down. They’ve never offered to replace my door or anything like that.”
A goal setter, Candice knew that she wanted to own her own home by the time she was in her thirties.
“I told myself, ‘no matter what it takes, I’m gonna get there.’ I’m a realistic person and so looking at my income, looking at my financial situation, you know with being a single mom with two boys, it wasn’t something that would be in my budget.”
It was a current Habitat homeowner that told Candice about Comal County Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership program and encouraged her to apply. After her second time applying to the Home Program, Candice was accepted as a future Habitat homeowner.
“I was able to reach my goal and I proved to myself that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to. I’ve never been the person to just let things overcome me. I’ve always been like, this is what I have to do, I don’t care, I’m just gonna suck it up and get it done,” said Candice.
When asked about her Habitat home, Candice talks about her boys having their own room, a yard to play in, and a safe, stable environment for her family.
“I feel like my kids will be a lot happier because we’ll have more stability, we’ll have our own place. It’s my place that I’m investing in.”
“To me, home is a safe place. Home is kind of like my sanctuary. Like when I’ve had a bad day or you know when I come home from work I can leave all of that behind and I can just be somewhere where I’m relaxed, where it’s peaceful. It’s a safe place,” said Candice.
Construction on Candice’s family home starts in early December of 2021. You can help Candice, Ryan and Rene build their Habitat home by sponsoring a stud in this year’s Stud-A-Thon! Visit here to learn more about how you can help.