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“What I always wanted for my sons was for them to go to college, to get a great education and to love learning,” says homeowner Tracie, “I just don’t think we would have had that opportunity without Habitat for Humanity.”
Tracie moved into her affordable Menlo Park home in 2009 along with her sons Titus and Lawrence. The home dedication ceremony was held on a typically sunny south bay morning and brought together an entire community to welcome the family to their new home.
“I remember thinking at that point that it was just the warmest, most exciting feeling. The great part about it was, I’m standing on the podium and I look out and they are all there: I’ve got clients there, I’ve got family, I’ve got church, I’ve got friends and they’re all there.
“It hit me at that point that these people came to support us.”
Earlier that year she heard the good news about her application and remembers the call with Habitat staff clearly:
“I thought, okay, this is probably one of the best days that we’ve had – it was awesome!
“I remember getting off the phone thinking this is the bomb! This so rocked! It was a pretty exciting day.”
Tracie looks back fondly on the time the family spent working on the home with her boys and friends and volunteers from around the community.
“It was a slow process but, every week, I’d go in there and something was different and it was progressing. And then once the paint went on, and then the kitchen went in, oh my gosh, it was amazing. It’s like magic.
“All of the volunteers, they were awesome. Everyone was working together to do the painting, or we were in the back digging these hole for the pole spots!”
The help she received from the boys was specially welcome. “Being able to build the house gave them a sense of ownership,” she says, “and their sweat equity was our down payment!”
Ultimately Tracie’s words at the home dedication ceremony sum up the feelings of so many Habitat Greater San Francisco families as they emark on their homeownership journey.
“I had a dream of being a homeowner,” Tracie recalls, “and of creating and having a place, an environment, where it would be safe for my sons to continue to grow and be the model citizens that we all planned for them to be. And I’ll have the opportunity to give them that.”
I had a dream of being a homeowner and of creating and having a place where it would be safe for my sons to grow and be the model citizens that we all planned for them to be.”