More than 35,000 families in Alberta live month-to-month, making it nearly impossible for them to get ahead. They’re forced to decide between heat and rent – a choice no family should ever have to make, but it’s a choice too many families in Southern Alberta are familiar with.
Crystal and Jose are one of these families and have been accepted into partnership with Habitat Southern Alberta. They have struggled to find affordable housing for their two daughters in Calgary for years. They’ve been living in a two-bedroom apartment in a community where they fear for their daughters’ safety and the standards of living many people take for granted simply don’t exist.
Crystal recalls enduring winter nights with a broken furnace and no heat for her two young girls. “I cried bitterly as my baby cried and we sat in our living room with our winter coats on. It was probably the most frustrated I’ve ever felt,” she said.
It was around that time that they applied for a Habitat home. When they learned that they qualified and were accepted into the program, they felt blessed beyond belief. “It was as though we’d won the lottery,” Crystal said.
Habitat for Humanity is not just helping families like Jose and Crystal purchase an affordable house; they are giving them a place to call home. Homeownership is about more than just building equity; it instills a family with a renewed sense of confidence and pride and this has tangible effects on family life.
“Some people dream of winning the lottery,” Crystal said. “But for the longest time I just prayed we would have our own home. I feel honoured and blessed for the opportunity Habitat has opened up to our family.”