Amanda was a single parent, living in a “housing project” with her three sons when she was encouraged by some friends at Shelldale to apply to Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph. “I was pretty desperate at that time”, remarks Amanda, “because the home was in pretty poor condition with no back yard and it wasn’t a nice place to bring up my sons.”
As a single mother bringing up three sons in ages ranging from 9 to 1, Amanda was not employed and had to be on family assistance. She quickly found full time employment and got herself out of debt. She was then approved as a partner family.“Habitat for Humanity gave me the chance to become an affordable homeowner”, says Amanda with a very large, effervescent smile on her face. “My mortgage payments were geared to my household income which, combined with a lovely home built with the support of Habitat’s volunteer network, I felt my life was turning around!”
Immediately after moving into their new Habitat home, Amanda set up chore charts for her children who all seemed so much more content and proud of their new environment. According to Amanda, “we trusted our new neighbourhood, I let the boys go to the park and ride bikes near our home. Amanda goes on to say, “they began having friends over to play in the back yard and over a period of several years, we have rescued three dogs that have become so much a part of our family.”
Fast track a few years and our Habitat for Humanity homeowner and her new partner have two children, a son and daughter, to add to the family. Amanda is now attending school for computer sciences as well as volunteering. Her eldest son, now 20 is off to College while the other four are still at home. Her sons are so respectful and courteous – such a delight!
To encourage volunteering within her family, Amanda is using her skills and experiences as a Habitat homeowner to deliver workshops for Two Rivers Neighbourhood Group entitled Living Within your Means. Her courses revolve around topics like making a budget, shopping “smart”, following discounts, and price checking. She also helps with planning healthy and affordable menus and the importance of exercise for a positive life experience.
Amanda concludes, “I would never have been able to achieve my goals so far without the support from Habitat for Humanity – I have wonderful visions of the future for myself and my family.”