“AAAAAAA HHHHHHHHHHHH! I feel like a soccer player who just scored a Goal!”
“GOOOOOOO OOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!”
“You have to have watched Latin soccer games to know what I’m talking about!”
These were Elizabeth’s first messages to the Habitat team when she received confirmation of the closing on her home this winter. Elizabeth and her five-year-old son, Elijah, have been on a journey for a permanent place to call home since her son was an infant. Today, they cannot be happier in their 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom Habitat home in Pacific.
In 2016, Elizabeth was in the middle of a difficult divorce, pregnant, staying with her parents, looking for stable work, and permanent housing. In her search, Elizabeth quickly realized that the hours she’d need to work as a hairdresser to afford rent in King County would not be sustainable now as a single mother. She stayed with her parents for Elijah’s first year, but when an illness in her family worsened, Elizabeth was forced to find alternative living arrangements. While her family and friends wished to provide her shelter, nobody had the space or resources.
A friend invited her to a community resource fair where she learned about transitional housing. Her first inquiries were rejected because she was older than the target age and she had a son. Elizabeth was discouraged. With a stroke of what felt like divine luck, someone overheard her story at that event and connected Elizabeth with Vision House, where she applied and she and Elijah were admitted ten months later.
Transitional housing provided the relief, time, and space for Elizabeth to go back to school and earn her High School Diploma and Office Assistant Certificate. “The following June was the first time I ever walked in graduation,” says Elizabeth. Her son started preschool and Elizabeth started a new job. While living there, Elizabeth also met our Habitat SKC team and learned about our homeownership program.
In early 2019, they moved out of Vision House’s facilities and into a shared home where they lived with another family and paid subsidized rent through a different short-term program. With limited privacy, this home felt even more temporary to Elizabeth. She continued to apply for recertification just to be on the county and city-subsidized rental lists every six months and felt the continual churn of keeping up on wait lists to find an affordable rental option. That was when she started thinking about Habitat, “it had stayed in the back of my mind.”
At first, she didn’t think homeownership was even possible. But when she reached out in 2020, the Habitat staff supported her through the application process. She took our homeownership courses, learned how to apply for an affordable loan, and identified a Habitat home and community that was the right fit for her in Pacific.
Elizabeth is grateful to the Habitat homeowner services team, who helped her identify the home in Pacific. Habitat was alongside her through the process, and she says, “I didn’t feel like I was on my own in this.” After a well-deserved, and long-awaited time, Elizabeth and Elijah moved into their PERMANENT home in Pacific this February.
Elijah’s favorite thing about his new home is the backyard and that the house is near the train tracks. He loves trains, and Elizabeth says that if we visit, we’d likely find them sitting and watching the trains or kicking the soccer ball in the backyard.