40 Years of Impact: Denise's Habitat Story
May 20, 2019
“At the end of the day our home is what has given us a solid foundation and a place to plant our roots.”
Before becoming homeowners through Habitat Metro Denver, Denise and her three children moved 14 times in 16 years. They bounced around from apartment to apartment, from unsafe living conditions where walls were falling to neighborhoods with high crime and drug rates. Denise was always able to put a roof over her kids’ heads, but she yearned to find the stability and safety a home could provide. Denise first heard about Habitat Denver’s homeownership program in 2011 from a friend at her local church. Soon after applying Denise was approved for the Habitat homeownership program where she completed home buyer education classes, 250 hours of sweat equity, as well as financial classes that prepared her to purchase her first home. “I used to take my kids to the build site before we started construction, when it was just a plot of land and they would always say, look mom that’s our dirt!” Denise continues, “Since becoming a homeowner, our life has changed for the better.”
“This home is my family’s base.” Shares Isaac, Denise’s oldest son who is now 24-years old. “I remember when we moved in and after unpacking I went to my new room to listen to music and I just cried because I was so happy and relieved to have a home.” Isaac graduated high school and now works full-time. He moved out years ago but still enjoys going back often to his Habitat home.
Denise’s youngest son Miles is now 11-years old and is about to finish his first year of middle school. “I love my home so much and my favorite part is that it’s permanent.” Miles continues, “I would tell any other kids who are becoming Habitat homeowners that it might seem weird at first being in a new place, but that new place is all yours and you will love it!”
Brooklyn, Denise’s 21-year old daughter shares how homeownership has impacted her life. “Before Habitat we moved every few months and I couldn’t make friends or stay in a school long enough to focus.” Brooklyn continues, “Since moving into our Habitat home, I have had more time to focus on my academics and create relationships with friends. I can go to school now, but I know I can always come back to home whenever I need family time.” Brooklyn received a full ride 4-year academic scholarship to Colorado State University where she’s studying sociology.
Increased financial stability through homeownership has allowed Denise to pursue her professional and academic goals. She went back to college and graduated with honors while earning her bachelor’s degree in human resources. Denise is now a case manager at Aurora Health Center. “After the first year in my new job I received several awards for going above and beyond in my role, but at the end of the day I just love serving others and helping them in their day-to-day lives.”
“This home has created emotional stability, financial security, and a foundation for education in my family. I cannot thank Habitat enough, as well as every person that works hand-in-hand with this amazing organization.”