Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homeowner Update: Providing Stability for her Children

Terra with her daughter and son.
Terra deserves and appreciates the stability her family has since becoming a Habitat homeowner. She’s understands the burden caused by financial struggles and constant moving. She’s felt the toll it takes on a family.
As a teenager, Terra and her siblings packed up what they could fit into duffle bags and moved from Oklahoma to Seattle in hopes their single mother would be able to find better work options.  While completing high school, Terra worked full-time and took care of her younger sisters to make ends meet for her family.

“The experience drained us physically and emotionally. These were dark times for me, and I yearned for the comfort of stability as a child,” said Terra.
Terra was married by the age of 20, and had two children. After 6 years, her marriage ended and Terra found herself facing the dilemma of how to provide for her children as a single mom. She did not want her children to face the same chaotic childhood she grew up in.
“I live and breathe on my children’s happiness and everything I do is with an eye for their long-term stability and success,” said Terra.

Terra was introduced to Habitat for Humanity of East King County by her children’s daycare providers who were Habitat Homeowners.  At this time, Terra was spending over 35 percent of her income on rent for a 700-square-foot house that was poorly cared for. The lack of maintenance on the home forced Terra to cook for her family on a portable camping stove. Despite poor conditions at home, Terra thrived at work and was able to earn promotions. One promotion and raise put her income $75 over the state poverty line, which caused the family to lose their state provided medical insurance, WIC funding, and other benefits that helped her make ends meet.

Thankfully it wasn’t too long before Terra found out her family was selected to become Habitat Homeowners and a bright future lay ahead. Since moving into their new home, Terra works for the same company, but has moved through multiple promotions from customer service to Logistics Manager. Her children have also seen successes. They love school and have made many new friends in their neighborhood. They are both advanced readers and enjoy video game programming.
 “The stability of our lives has allowed us to grow into a community that we love and have become part of with our neighbors, many of the homeowners in our community have school age children, and we look out for each other in many ways,” said Terra. “I have never lived in a place that fostered the types of relationships that build trust and reliability within a small group of diverse people like the community at Patterson Park.”
Terra and her children in their Habitat for Humanity home.
The family enjoys having friends over for dinner, baking together, and trips to the park. Terra’s daughter loves to sew and make arts and crafts, and her son is a music student at the Rock n’ More School of Rock.

“Working with Habitat for Humanity has transformed my life and restored my faith in people, in the world, and in the future,” said Terra.

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