“I get to live the American dream,” said Velma Curtis as she described how she feels about her nearly finished Habitat home.

Velma Curtis and her kids, along with two of her new neighbors – the Barreto and Mascorro families – will receive the keys to their new homes just in time to celebrate Christmas. It is an extremely important day for Habitat for Humanity as all three homes will dedicated together in a ceremony at 9:00 a.m. The media and public are invited to attend and celebrate with these families and Habitat staff and volunteers.

“I’m super excited about this day,” Curtis said. “Some people just get to think about and hope for it

[a good home]. I get to live it.”

She’s living it because of her hard work and dedication to her family, coupled with tremendous support from this community. All Habitat families complete 500 sweat equity hours to qualify for a home (hours spent working on other’s houses and then their own). They also attend twelve homeownership classes (on topics like budgeting and finance) and then buy the home, essentially at cost, with a 20-30 year interest-free mortgage.

The Barreto family will live next door to Velma Curtis. Like Velma, Alejandro and Miguelina Barreto want a better place for their children to live. Alejandro often fears their trailer will blow over in storms; it has a hole in the floor and leaks when it rains.

“We want a place that is more safe and will allow our family to be happier,” Alejandro said. “We give thanks to God,” he added, “because without Habitat we would not be able to get a home.”

(Click on the photos to read more about each family.)

Barreto fam pic

Barreto Family

Curtis fam pic

Curtis Family

Mascorro fam pic

Mascorro Family