“This is really our home because it has always been our home.” A house cherished for generations.

 Eliza is a mother of four, a grandmother of seven, and a great-grandmother of eight. Her three sons have been struggling alongside her to help maintain the stability of their childhood home and have worked tirelessly to repair maintenance issues. Eliza explained to us the capability she and her sons have for the upkeep of repairs based on what they know. She says, “[Juan’s brother], is the one that knows more how to help me out with whatever needs to be done. I’m glad he knows a little bit about plumbing. Electricity, he doesn’t know that much, but he did come and fix some wires, saying, ‘That’s all I can do Mom. I don’t know anything else.’”

The house that Eliza and her family call home has been in their family for many generations. She smiles when she recounts memories of growing up in the home her family has shared and cherishes the everlasting connection. Her grandfather bought the home “back in 1910,” and Eliza believes this contributes to the foundation issues her family faces. “We lived in this place for so many years from the time we were little… till we graduated and we were out. But, then we would come back again to this house!” 

However, the struggles that Eliza and her family have been repeatedly confronted with have become unbearably overwhelming. “I’ve been trying to manage, upgrade the house a little bit, but I couldn’t do it anymore because…it’s a lot of work and it costs us a lot of money.” Eliza has put more effort into keeping a home for her family than any homeowner should have to. Even with her physical health restrictions, she always puts in as much effort as she can offer to keep the house maintained. “I got underneath the house this wintertime… I kind of hit one of my ribs and since I have osteoporosis, well I was sore for about three weeks. Because I kind of bruised myself, and I couldn’t move on my side, it hurt so bad.” After the injury, she told Juan, “‘I can’t do this anymore, you’re just gonna have to go and do it yourself.’” Her son, Juan says, “it’s been so stressful” when addressing the repairs he and his brothers have helped complete around the home. Throughout these times of struggle though, Eliza has always kept her faith in God. “I prayed and prayed. ‘Oh god, please don’t let nothing happen.’” She continues to look to God whenever she becomes worried and holds on strong to faith in His protection and guidance.

With being accepted into the homebuyer program, Eliza is now relieved and excited to begin a new promising chapter of her life. “If I could I would be dancing around right now!” She laughed. “I’m going to be a homeowner.” “After twenty-some years. I can’t believe it, well, I am lucky that God has given me so many years still to live.” She can now confidently say that she can better enjoy her daily life. “A home that I can be at ease, that I don’t have to worry about.”

To Eliza, a Habitat home means, “A place where there’s peace. A place where you’re going to be comfortable. This is what I’m going to call, as the years go by, ‘this is my home.’ With a lot of love!” Eliza now describes her future with excitement, and her children are elated now that Eliza can live her life to the fullest. “They’re happy for me. They’re very happy, you know.” She looks forward to the day when her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren can enjoy spending time together in a safe home.