Restrictive, troublesome, chaotic, crowded – these are just a few of the adjectives Tricia and her kids use to describe their current living situation. Tricia, mother of four (Tristian, 17; Hunter, 15; Gaige, 12; Grace, 12), feels as though the conditions in her current home are stealing her children’s childhood. The home consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, a small kitchen, and a basement. All four of her children share one bedroom; there are two bunk beds and only one closet and one dresser to share. As the kids have gotten older, the lack of space has become more apparent. In addition to space constraints, they experience moisture and mold in their basement, creating a difficult storage situation, along with potential health hazards.
Among the many issues in the home, the kitchen is where Tricia feels a void. “Our [kitchen] table is small and we are down to two chairs. In the eight years living here, we have never all sat at the table to eat together, which I miss dearly,” said Tricia.
The dream of being able to sit down in her own home to have a family dinner has continued to spur Tricia’s determination in her quest for homeownership. “I’m not buying any more furniture for this place. Eventually we will all be sitting on the floor and that just gives me motivation to do something about it.”
Tricia’s first step toward change was her decision to call Habitat for Humanity and inquire about the application process. When Habitat informed Tricia’s family of their acceptance into the homeownership program, emotions were high. “My kids just started crying and it was the best moment in my life, just seeing their faces,” recalled Tricia.
Thinking back on that day, Tricia’s oldest son, Tristan, recalls the reason for his own emotion: “I don’t cry often, but I cried. It was a really emotional point because I never thought that we would be able to get a house before I went to college or even after. I figured that just wouldn’t be a thing that I would experience.” Tristan plans to attend Loras College next year and will commute to class from his new home.
The new house will allow each of Tricia’s children to have more room and opportunities for them to be their own person. “My dream is to give my kids the space they need. I hope someday soon my kids will have that feeling of home,” said Tricia.
The build for Tricia’s family is set to begin in spring/summer 2019. The first thing each of the kids plan on doing when they move in is to decorate their rooms. Tricia’s hard work and determination have led her one step closer to the home she and her family deserve – the home in which a big kitchen table awaits.