Story from Jenifer Abreu of KOLR 10 News.
A family of five has received the keys to their new home through Habitat for Humanity.
Jennifer Williams was so determined to get her hands on those keys and to sign her mortgage that it took her only 10 months to complete all the requirements to get into her home. On Wednesday, a celebration was held at the house with members of Habitat for Humanity, U.S. Bank and others who helped her through the process.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Williams said.
Outside, her father put up the flag she received during the celebration.
“If you had told me four years ago that I would be here I wouldn’t have believed it,” Williams said.
She says back then, she didn’t see a way out.
“I was in a pretty rough relationship. I was married for 15 years. It wasn’t a good situation at all for me and my kids,” she said.
But she was eventually able to leave and start a new life as a single mom of six.
“I had to work 70 hours a week,” she said.
She learned about Habitat for Humanity home program and after going through the application process, there was more work to do. More specifically 250 hours of sweat equity. She worked construction for Habitat for 100 of those hours. 75 hours were donated by friends and family, also through sweat equity. And the rest of her hours she volunteered at the ReStore.
“So, I got to work on other people’s homes,” she said. “And that’s really neat to meet other people who are in the program and you work on their house and their work on your house and you become really good friends.”
Habitat for Humanity in Springfield builds from 3 to 5 of these houses a year. So far, 80 homes have been built.
Williams says her mortgage will now be about half what her rent used to be. She and her four youngest kids ages 14 through 19 are moving in this week.
“A lot of it was just being humble and reaching out to my family and my friends and my church, and organizations,” she said. “And accepting the help, which can be hard to do, and then just be willing to work hard.”
Her new address is only fitting. Her home sits on Faith Way.
“It’s definitely been a journey of faith,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity has been pretty busy with construction. Just down the street from Williams, another house is being built and in a couple weeks another celebration is scheduled for a new homeowner.
Habitat says they are always looking for more applicants for these houses.