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From Dream to Reality

Her blueprints for the backyard: a pool, a swing, a safe space for her grandkids to play. Habitat KC’s future homeowner Marsha Hooker will only be the second person in her family to own a home, so she already has big plans for the place.

Marsha was accepted into the Habitat program in 2016 after 48 years of renting in Kansas City. Fear of rejection stopped her from completing Habitat applications in the past. but Marsha remembers waking up one day and thinking, “This has got to be the year I start owning my own home.” This resolution prompted her to start cleaning up her credit and apply. She was accepted on August 25, 2016. “I opened the acceptance letter and fell to my knees,” recalls Marsha.

Since starting the program, Marsha has developed new skills that will equip her for homeownership. She has learned to paint and has become more comfortable installing household appliances because of her time earning sweat equity hours on Habitat constructions sites. Most importantly, she has fine-tuned the art of forward-thinking. “Homeownership has already changed me,” says Marsha. “It has me focusing on stepping forward.”

Marsha isn’t stepping forward alone. She has the support of her fiancé, mother, sister, and four grown children who all live in Kansas City. Her mother and sister are especially eager for Marsha to move into her Habitat house since it is so close to where the two women live now.

Marsha can’t wait to invite her big family over to her new home. Marsha loves to cook for the whole crew. She aims to create a place that seemed unimaginable growing up in a family who rented. “I can do it the way I want,” Marsha says, describing the freedom inherent to homeownership. “A swing in the backyard…we never had that.”