Jacqueline's Family Story
Jacqueline struggled with moving back into her parents house and having 8 people rely on her after a divorce, until she found DuPage Habitat.
I first found the DuPage Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Program while searching for a way to help my parents repair our home. I had recently moved back in with them after going through a divorce and becoming homeless. Even though I only have two children of my own, I quickly became the head of our household, with eight people relying on me. I’ll admit it wasn’t easy, especially while trying to hold down a full-time job in the hospitality field with an ever-changing schedule. When I walked into the DuPage Habitat Home Ownership Information Session, I really had no idea that my life was about to change. What I thought would be a few necessary repairs to my parents’ home turned into the chance of a lifetime for my kids and me.
Something that will fulfill me, and was one of my personal goals to achieve when I stepped foot into my parents’ home, was to one day to provide my kids with their own place they were proud to call home.
I’m currently working toward that goal, trying to put my whole heart into this sweat equity period. The work is hard, but I have the inspiration to keep going. My kids inspire me to work hard toward homeownership. Nothing will make me happier than to see their smiles when I show them the keys to their new home. My grandfather is another great influence on my inspiration. He would always say, “Daughter of mine, always work hard for what you want, because with hard work there’s always a reward.”
I have one other great reason to look forward to the work I’m putting in while completing sweat equity: The generous volunteers and other future homeowners I’ve been meeting along the way. What I’m looking forward to through this journey of homeownership is to have fun, while learning new things and gaining new experiences. Foremost, be of assistance to other families in need and see joy in their faces. The best part so far about the process has been being able to participate in Women Build one day with volunteers from ComEd. These ladies encouraged me and lifted my confidence. Even though I wrote a script I could use to tell them my story, in the end, I put it aside because it felt like we were all friends. I didn’t need a script to talk with them openly and honestly.
Being a DuPage Habitat future homeowner has impacted my life. I learned that there are many compassionate, caring people like myself out there that seek the same goal to enhance the lives of others, and that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Also, thanks to DuPage Habitat, I learned that there is a light at the end of my tunnel, and with so many caring people I’ve met and will continue meeting, my family will be okay because of the unity and support.
It helps so much to have my children by my side. My 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, helps me keep the five other children in our house in line, and she is very mature and nurturing, like a mini version of myself. Jona, my 9-year-old son, hides behind a shy exterior but can make a room light up with laughter a moment later. His comedic personality helps keep this family in good spirits.
Though I found the program by accident, I am so grateful to have the opportunity. All I can say is that things happen the way they do for a reason, and I am glad I found DuPage Habitat and the courage to fill out the application for home ownership.
You can give some of your own time to help a future homeowner like Jacqueline. Find out how you can volunteer on a DuPage Habitat build site and work alongside a future homeowner.