Sitting together on the couch in front of their family Christmas tree, Bridget’s family reflected on what it will mean to spend Christmas in their new Habitat for Humanity home. 3-year-old Gabby clapped her hands in joy saying, “not the old home!” when her dad asked if she was excited about living in their new house.
Bridget’s older daughter, Julia, who’s a sixth grader at Reed Middle School, was happy to have a place to study, a place to have friends over, and a place to do her art. “In the new house I’m not embarrassed to have my zoom camera up for school because there aren’t cockroaches on the walls here,” says Julia.
Bridget, listens to her daughters share their joy of their new home. Before partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, she was renting a too-small trailer that had issues with cockroaches. “It sounds terrible, but we’re so glad we’re out of that situation,” said Bridget.
Bridget grew up in foster care and didn’t have stability growing up. Bridget thought that owning anything in her life wouldn’t be an option because of her credit, income, and her past struggles. “A homeowner? Me?” But with Habitat for Humanity’s help, homeownership became a reality.
Now, as a Habitat homeowner, Bridget has the opportunity to provide stability for her daughters. “It gives me stability and structure. It means my girls won’t have to move year after year. There’s so much stress taken off our backs knowing that we own something. This will be ours. It’s huge.”
This Christmas, Bridget and her daughters will be home for the holidays. They had always spent Christmas at other people’s houses. They didn’t want to be at their old house. But this year, it’s going to be in their new home. They have enough room to sit around the Christmas tree together. “The kids love it. The dog loves it. We love it,” Bridget says. “We’re ready for Christmas.”