Just a month after their youngest daughter was born in May of 2018, Juan Salas and his wife, Brenda Mendez, applied to purchase a home from Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity.

Friends from their church told them about Habitat’s homeownership program. They had nothing to lose. Living in a shabby one-bedroom converted garage with new baby, Angie, and their older son, Joari, who just turned 8, the couple desperately needed a better place to raise their children.

Three months later, they were approved to become Habitat homeowners!

“We were very happy when we got the news,” Juan said. “It’s a huge opportunity for us, and we are so grateful.”

Since being approved, the couple has taken all the required home maintenance and financial fitness classes. They have also completed nearly 300 sweat-equity hours, so the wall-raising day of their home is fast approaching.

Over the past 15 months, the experience has been a positive one for the couple.

“We feel more united to the community as we work with other families and volunteers,” Juan said. “We’ve learned how to connect with other people and be more sociable.”

The pair also enjoyed the classes they took, and they feel prepared to become homeowners. They especially liked the classes about city ordinances, fire safety and gardening. Joari is looking forward to helping his parents with planting and maintaining a garden.

Juan, who works full-time for a decorative concrete firm and part-time at a local restaurant, didn’t have any construction experience, so he has eagerly approached his time spent on Habitat’s build sites as a learning opportunity for his future home.

Brenda, who works at home taking care of the children, laughs when she describes what Joari is most looking forward to in their new home.

“The one thing he desires is a bathtub!” she said. “Every time we visit other homes, he always makes a beeline for the bathtub.”

Joari’s greatest desire will soon become a reality. Until then, Juan and Brenda want to thank all of their sponsors for their good will.

“You have given us the hope and knowledge that we will be putting our money into a home,” Juan said. “ A home that we can give to our children and where we can put down roots.”