World Habitat Day: Homeownership IS Possible!

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

mar-lyn-and-kidsAs 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 bland-kidsended 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.