20 Years of Impact: Sandra's Habitat Story

Nov. 9, 2021

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Sandra and her children in 2001.

Sandra's oldest son, Miguel, had two big goals when he was 17 years old: earn a college scholarship for himself, and find decent housing for his mother and siblings. For most of their life, affordable housing had been hard to find, and their family of six endured many years of sub-standard housing where they didn't feel safe. Before Miguel felt like he could confidently leave his family for college, he wanted to ensure they were in stable housing.

Miguel heard about Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership program from his high school track and field coach. His mother, Sandra, soon applied, and that moment changed the trajectory of their family's future.

Sandra proudly invested hundreds of volunteer hours to help build her family's home, and they moved into their brand-new home in 2001–exactly 20 years ago! With his family living in an affordable four-bedroom home, Miguel was able to concentrate on higher education and earned a degree in business management from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Sandra and her family during their 2018 holiday celebration in their Habitat home.

"Knowing my mother and siblings had a safe and stable place to call home alleviated so much stress for me." Miguel continues, "I was able to focus on my studies without worrying if the rest of my family would be all right."

Miguel's siblings have also thrived since growing up in their Habitat home. His sisters, Elvia and Jessica, both went to college and earned associate's degrees. Jessica is a proud mother of six and is a homeowner herself. Elvia works in the medical field as a translator and is passionate about helping others as much as she can. Both women appreciate the impact their Habitat home has made in their lives.

"I remember always having a place to call home, and to this day I still consider my mother's house my true home and that will never change," shares Elvia. "I remember the love and care that grew in our home as children and that has carried on into our adult lives," Jessica adds.

Over the past 20 years of homeownership, Sandra and her children have not lost sight of what truly matters.

"This home will always be our home. We all have experienced loss, love, and hope here in this home that we built together." Sandra continues, "We owe a lot to Habitat and thank everyone who contributed to this organization that has changed my family's lives forever."

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