In the town we want to be in.

The city of New Braunfels has always felt like home to Anthony and Atanacia. They were both born and raised here and envisioned raising their five children, Rayann, Deztiney, Skylah, Kyndra, and Anthony Jr., in New Braunfels as well. Wanting to stay in the town they loved, the family looked into Comal County Habitat for Humanity.

Anthony and Atanacia’s family lived with Atanacia’s grandmother until she passed away. After her passing, the family was not able to keep the house financially, “You have to come up with this money or move out,” Atanacia said. Anthony and Atanacia wanted to keep their family in New Braunfels but they couldn’t find a home that had enough space for their family that was within budget. Atanacia said, “Rent’s so high here. In terms of getting an affordable place, but big enough for us.” Instead, the family had to move in with Atanacia’s father in Austin.

Atanacia’s father lives in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in Austin. Due to the lack of space, their five children share one room together, Anthony and Atanacia in another, and Atanacia’s father in his own room. When talking about the limited space Anthony said, “We had to get a storage unit to put most of our stuff in there.” Atancia continues, “It’s real crowded […] We just took beds and clothes and a couple of drawers.”

Despite relocating to Austin, the two parents still work in New Braunfels. Due to the commute, stress has taken a toll on Anthony and Atanacia. Atanacia explains, “[I’m] just very tired […] because I get up at 5 […] and then I won’t get home till 7:30.” However, this is not the first time the family has faced adversity, when they first applied to our home program, they did not qualify.  Although, the two were resilient, they looked at the requirements and recommendations for the program and made a plan. They worked together to improve their financial stability and when they applied again, they received the news they had been accepted. They were overwhelmed with joy.

Now the whole family is learning how to build their Habitat home. Rayann and Deztiney have assisted with construction sweat-equity and have learned new skills. Anthony and Atanacia are working through their homeownership classes where they learn everything from creating and maintaining a budget to constructing a freshwater tank with a raincatcher. A Habitat home will provide the family with the space they need to live comfortably and a shorter commute to work, saving gas and time with the family. To Anthony and Atanacia, what they look forward to the most is “more time together […] in the town we want to be in.”