Lorenzo & Silvia’s Homeownership Story
“Habitat didn’t just let us build a home, they helped us build a future.”
Lorenzo and Silvia remember their first milestones with Habitat like it was yesterday. There’s the moment they signed their partnership papers. Their first day on the build site when their home’s foundation was laid. Then there was the first night in their home when Lorenzo thought, “I can’t believe that this is all ours.”
It’s hard to believe these milestones were 17 years ago. At that time, Silvia was a homemaker and Lorenzo worked for a local flooring company. Before moving into their Habitat home they lived in a studio apartment that had previously been condemned by the city. Trying to raise their 10-month old daughter in this small and unsafe space made them realize they had to make a change.
One day a friend came to their tiny apartment and told them about Habitat for Humanity and encouraged them to apply. “When we heard about the program it was like a dream come true,” said Lorenzo.
Once they were accepted into Habitat’s program, Lorenzo and Silvia spent several months putting in over 200 hours of sweat equity building their home. “It didn’t feel like work when we built our house because I knew we were building something more than just a home,” shares Silvia.
Silvia was right. They’ve shared holidays, hosted family gatherings, and celebrated major life events in the home they built with their own hands. They have watched their daughter grow up there and also welcomed two more children to their family.
Silvia has had the opportunity to earn both her GED and associates degree, and she’s planning on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in teaching this year. Lorenzo now owns his own tile and flooring company and stays regularly involved with Habitat as a sub-contractor for the organization.
“Every time I work on a Habitat house it brings me back to building my own again, and I get so excited for the new family that is going to call that place home,” shares Lorenzo.
Lorenzo and Silvia feel blessed to have been able to raise a family in their Habitat home. Their sons are now 14 and 16-years old, and their daughter is 18-years old. She is about to graduate from high school in the spring, and is excited for her future plans to go to college in the fall.
“Without our Habitat home we would not have been able to save money, give our kids a safe neighborhood to grow, earn an education, or grow our business… We truly love this program and are very grateful to everyone involved with Habitat.” shares Lorenzo.