The stability of home ownership means many things to Anastasia Ochoa, a 28-year-old mother of four, and her husband David, the proud owner-operator of a relatively new tree-trimming business. The low mortgage payments for their Habitat for Humanity home allowed David to start his business and ended the cycle of moving from rental to rental in search of enough space and sanitation to raise a growing family. “Before coming to Habitat, we lived in three different homes,” she says, offering a litany of problems in each place.
What is most meaningful about this home, however, is the opportunities now available to her children. “It’s a better education,” she says. “We get to spend more time with our kids.” She’s thrilled with the school district her family has moved into. “The teachers are so involved with the kids’ education. I’m very happy and proud of where I live, the home that I have,” she says. That pride transitions to gratitude and a desire to pay it forward to Habitat for Humanity.
While both Anastasia and David have completed their sweat equity requirements to move into their home, they each maintain involvement in the organization.
“Now, every chance my husband gets when he’s not working, he volunteers,” she says. David helps build homes for other families, and Anastasia put in most of her sweat equity hours at Habitat’s Restore retail space, where she was eventually hired to work part time. The job helped her through a round of self-described baby blues and gave her a new network of support. “It’s a good vibe,” she says. “I tell my co-workers they’re family. They’re my Habitat family. They’re stuck with us. Ever since we got the home, we’ve been blessed.”
“It’s a great vibe…I tell my co-workers they’re family. They’re my Habitat family. They’re stuck with us. Ever since we got the home, we’ve been blessed.”
– Anastasia Ochoa