World Habitat Day is a designated day each year that recognizes the basic right of all humanity to adequate shelter and encourages grass roots action toward enduring poverty housing. We are posting a series of blogs written from different perspectives that illustrate the importance of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Blog post by: Mar’Lyn Bland, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles homeowner
As a child I was accustomed to moving from apartment to apartment. It wasn’t until I became older that I realized the reason for all of the moves was because my parents could not afford to make the rent. Nevertheless, as a child I was always excited to see the new house! If we were lucky, we would get an apartment with two bedrooms. Then, my siblings and I would run from room to room picking which room we wanted to claim as our own.
My upbringing never afforded me the dream of one day owning my own home. I simply followed the path of those before me, and assumed I would eventually have my very own apartment. Yes, a small one or two-bedroom apartment.
Life quickly introduced me to adulthood! And, one day I looked up from my small world and realized I had somehow ended up on the wrong path (or at least it seemed that way then). Here I was living in my mother-in-law’s house with seven children! Her home was a modest three-bedroom house, which we shared with a brother and an additional family. At one point there were 12 of us living in this house, all sharing one bathroom.
I was so embarrassed about my life. So, I was sure to keep my living conditions to myself. I painted the perfect picture and was sure to keep a smile on my face, so that others would not know the horrendous truth. Not only were we over- crowded, but I also lived with an infestation of pests, and a deteriorating home.
After hearing a radio caller mention her experience with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, I decided to research the organization just to see if I could possibly qualify for the homeownership program. The entire process took a little over two years. I carefully completed each stage; the orientation, the paperwork, the build, etc…
My anticipation was building day by day! In September of 2008, I had the keys to my very own home and I moved my family in!
Eight years in my own home has been a tremendous blessing. I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I have provided a place for my children to call their own. I have also set an example for them. They now know that homeownership IS in their future.
Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization. I am proof that they build homes, hopes and dreams! My life is better because of Habitat for Humanity and I will always be grateful for their wonderful contributions to families all over the world.