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Maria’s Story

“It won’t be just another place, it will be a real home.”

Four years ago, living in a homeless shelter, Maria made her three children a promise that she would find a place where they could be safe. A place of their own where they could be happy together.

Now, through Habitat KC, she’s making good on that promise.

Currently living in a crowded three-bedroom apartment, Maria knew that the place was only temporary.

“The walls are very thin so you can always hear the neighbors,” said Maria. “Loud music, people shouting. You can hear it all the time. We feel like we have no peace”

Although she had saved up money for a home, Maria’s loan application was rejected by her bank who said that she did not have enough credit to qualify. Maria worried that they would be stuck in their apartment forever and would not find the stability they needed. However, she soon found another way to provide peace to her family.

“At the time, I was helping a friend with the construction of her Habitat home. That’s when I learned about the program,” said Maria who later applied and was accepted into Habitat’s homeownership program in late 2018.

When her acceptance letter came in the mail, Maria says that she was at a loss for words and was so surprised that she asked her children if it was a prank. She couldn’t believe that out of all the people that had applied, she had been accepted and now have the chance to build a home of her own.

Maria wasn’t the only one excited about the opportunity to build.

“I’ll know everything about the home,” said Maria’s eldest son, Albert, who is studying the construction trade at Kansas City Kansas Community College. “If something breaks, I’ll know how to fix it. I’ll get more experience for my career while I build something that is ours.”

The idea of building something of their own is driving Maria’s family to complete their sweat equity hours as quickly as possible. Volunteering at ReStore, serving on construction sites, helping out at Habitat KC’s office, Maria says it’s all worth it as she works to fulfill the promise she made to her children

“It will be a space for everyone to come together and make memories. It will be ours. It won’t be just another place, it will be a real home.”


Women Build

Maria’s home was built as part of Habitat KC’s Women Build, an annual build that works to empower women by giving them the tools and skills they need to change their community.

Learn more about Women Build