100th Habitat Home 1997: Stability of homeownership changed family’s life

Silvia and Rafael have lived in their Habitat home for 20 years, but you’d think they just moved in with how excited they get welcoming new visitors.  When you walk into their home, Rafael and Silvia have smiles from ear to ear, and their happiness is contagious. “This house means home,” Silvia shares. “It means security. It means a place for making memories. I’ve literally dreamed of it my whole life and am grateful every day for our forever home.”

Before becoming Habitat homeowners, Silvia and Rafael lived in a small, unsafe, and pest-infested apartment. At that time Silvia and Rafael had a 2-year old son Andy, and Silvia was pregnant with their daughter Leslie. They knew they needed to make a change in order to raise their kids in a safe place. They’re so grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Habitat Metro Denver all those years ago to build their dream home.

Now 20 years later, Silvia and Rafael have built a stable foundation for their family that all started with becoming homeowners. “I am so grateful because my children have been able to grow up with the same neighborhood and support system around them,” Silvia continues, “I could always watch the kids walk to school because it was only a few blocks away from our home.”

The pride that Rafael and Silvia have in their home is apparent.  They still love working on their home and are currently remodeling their kitchen, “Redoing our kitchen is reminding me of all the sweat, long days and nights I spent building our home 20 years ago,” Rafael shares.

Both Andy and Leslie have fond memories of growing up in their Habitat home.  Now adults, they’ve both graduated high school and have big plans for their futures. Andy lives in his own home and works full time in construction. Leslie is finishing her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Metro State University. “No matter where we go, this will always be our home,” shares Leslie.

Rafael adds, “Thank you, to everyone who makes Habitat’s homeownership program possible, it really works.”