Omyra left her home in Puerto Rico when she was only 16, in search for a better life. She moved to Lebanon, PA and found a job packing candy. While this allowed her to establish a place in America, it didn’t allow her for a better future. She lived her life day to day, avoiding making big plans or decisions.
In 2000 she was blessed with a son, and later a daughter. The family grew by one when her mother began having health issues and came to live with her. The one-bedroom apartment they were living in was very small for a family of four. Omyra knew they needed a change.
For years family and friends had told her about Habitat for Humanity’s work and urged her to consider becoming a partner family. When circumstances beyond her control turned her into a single mother, Omyra knew that she had to start building a future for herself and her children. As a result of this she applied for a home and started to think how becoming a homeowner would not only give her more space to live, but how it would also allow her a chance to build financial security and set a good example for her kids.
Shortly after applying, Omyra received news that she was accepted into the Habitat program. While some Habitat families watch their home grow from ground up, hers was already built. Omyra’s home was an existing house that was rehabilitated by skilled Habitat workers and volunteers.
As part of her sweat equity hours that she contributes toward the building of her home, Omyra attended classes that helped her understand what it means to be a homeowner, and gave her valuable skills in financial counseling and home repair. Once she completed all of this , she purchased her home at a zero percent interest mortgage. Omyra payments will be less than what she paid to rent her small apartment.
Omyra is not longer stuck living day to day. She can save money while continuing to support her mother’s health. She can more confidently plan for her children’s education while showing them that the American dream of owning a home is possible. Omyra future is hopeful now.