Indiana is thankful for her blessings.
“Without God in my life, I don’t know where I would be now,” the future Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County homeowner said.
A mother of seven, Indiana holds her head high while speaking with the strength and courage that she’s gained through recent personal tragedies. Her husband died at the age of 33 in 2016, and her 11-year-old daughter died in 2018 from cancer.
“Sometimes I want to give up and I feel like I can’t do it anymore,” Indiana said. “Sometimes, I say, ‘That’s it.’ But if I made it until now, I can continue on.”
Amid her daughter’s illness, Indiana applied twice for homeownership with Habitat Orlando & Osceola but was denied because of limited income and credit. Indiana worked dedicatedly with a mentor who helped her to improve her credit, and she was approved in January 2019.
When her congratulations letter arrived, her eldest daughter – who helped her with the application – delivered the news. Indiana couldn’t wait to see the letter, she recalled with a smile. “I said, ‘Let me see it, let me see it!’”
She’s since completed more than three-quarters of her required sweat equity hours in just six months.
“It was fun doing the hours and working here in the office,” says Indiana. One of her favorite parts has been learning new skills, both at headquarters and on the build site.
Though she’s enjoying the journey, she can’t wait to celebrate the next step. She plans to celebrate with white balloons when she finishes her sweat equity hours, and red balloons when she closes on her home.
Moving into her family’s new home will mean, first and foremost, freedom. She looks forward to being able to have a garden, outside furniture, a fence and a trampoline for her kids to play.
She hopes that her journey teaches her children the power of perseverance.
“I’m proud of myself. A lot of people might give up, but I made it.”
Central Florida ranks worst in the nation for affordable housing. This is unacceptable – and at Habitat Orlando & Osceola, we are doing all we can to change that. Learn more about the impacts of homeownership for families like Indiana’s.