Work and Work and Work Paying Off

Working parent Juana has dedicated her time to being there for her three children. Juana first came to Habitat for Humanity seeking an affordable place to live.

Juana had once rented an apartment, but found herself not staying there due to the living conditions. Juana said, “It was my first apartment, and it was an exciting feeling. (The apartment) was here in town but horrible.” She mentioned that the apartment “always had people smoking, selling drugs, and shooting (incidents).” Juana and her children ended up spending most of their time at her mother’s, and eventually moved in with her.

The challenges Juana has struggled with “is feeling that I haven’t been there for my kids or had the chance to be there when they were babies. Because I always had to work and work and work,” This was due to her trying to keep up with daily expenses and necessities to provide for her children.

This is when she made the decision she would go to school to become a Dental Assistant. “I felt it was more stable. I never was really good at school, (but) I did it and it was really hard.” With Juana’s dedication, she soon graduated and now has more time to spend with her children. Her dreams do not stop there though.

“My main goal is to go back (to school) for Dental Hygienist.” Juana has always felt that once she becomes a Dental Hygienist she will be financially stable enough to buy a home.

Juana was hesitant and kept brushing off applying for Habitat for Humanity but eventually ended up moving forward with the application. “(I) didn’t think I was going to get approved. I ended up applying and shortly after I got a call to do a home interview. After that, I got a call for a meeting and they told me I got approved!”

When asked what Juana hoped her new home would offer her family, she said, “their own space. My son now doesn’t have his own space. Sometimes it frustrates him because I say ‘take this to your room’ and he responds, ‘I don’t have my own room.”’ Juana herself has struggled with the limited space saying, ‘Sometimes it’s frustrating because I don’t know where to put things away.’”

With her future Habitat home, Juana looks forward to having more room for the kids, as well as a living room and a backyard. “The minute they have a backyard, I know all they are going to want to do is play outside.”

To Juana, “Home means a place where you feel safe but you also feel that comfort.” She says, “Sometimes I want to push myself more to finish my hours so I can hurry and get us out of here. I want them (her kids) to have their own space already.”

Juana says her biggest motivation is “My kids, everything I do is for them.” With this opportunity for affordable housing she feels, “It would be a huge relief because you work so hard over the years to get somewhere. Knowing that I will be in my own home that no one can take away from me and my kids. It’s a huge blessing. […] I’ve been through so much and this opportunity just makes me feel like … I’m going to give you a break and give you something back.”

All of Juana’s work over the years is starting to pay off, but not stopping anytime soon.