At first, single mom Marissa Ocampo was reluctant to apply for Habitat’s homebuyer program.

“I have always been very prideful,” Marissa said. “I didn’t want to ask for help. I stuck with rentals because I don’t like rejection.”

As a single mother of four children — Jasmine (14), Destiny (12), Sophie (11), and Valentin (10) — Marissa also knew that meeting the rigorous program requirements wouldn’t be easy with the kids and her full-time job at Texas A&M’s Small Animal Clinical Science Hospital. Fortunately, several of her single-mom friends — one a Habitat homeowner herself — encouraged her to take on the challenge.

When her application was approved, Marissa was “relieved, excited, and overwhelmed.” She has already completed nearly 200 of her required sweat-equity hours with the help of family and friends. The Habitat home will be a blessing for the family. The small, three-bedroom home they currently rent has only one bathroom, and Valentin has to share a bedroom with one of his sisters. In the colder months, they have to use space heaters, which Marissa describes as “quite scary.”

Thinking about the Circle of Women members who will sponsor and help build her home, Marissa is over-come with gratitude.“I am so thankful and appreciative for their support,” she said.

Now she looks forward to having an affordable home that will provide her family with a solid foundation and a brighter future.
The Habitat program has taught Marissa many things, but one stands out:

“I’ve learned I’m not the only one going through hard times,” she said. “It’s okay to ask for help.”