With her children by her side, Jeanette shared joy and gratitude with guests at the dedication ceremony in her family’s newly renovated Habitat home in Lebanon this past Saturday, November 9th.
“I am thankful for the blessings of our Lord and for having this dream come true in my life,” Jimenez said through the help of a translator. A native of Puerto Rico, Jimenez shared a few words with guests after her daughter became overwhelmed with emotion and could not continue speaking.
Jeanette entered Habitat’s homeownership program in early 2019 with a desire to direct her money towards something she’d own rather than rent. “Now I have the peace of mind of knowing that I am not throwing money into the air, but that it’s always going to go towards my house,” she said.
Her daughter, Julymarie, worked side-by-side with Jeanette to complete Habitat’s sweat equity requirements. Future homebuyers contribute 250 hours (400 for double head of household) towards the purchase of their home. Sweat equity includes building their or their neighbors’ Habitat home, taking financial literacy classes and partnering with a mentor. Along the way, Jeanette learned many skills that will be helpful in being a successful homeowner.
“I learned to develop construction skills – for example, cutting wood, painting, installing locks, etc.,” she said. “Things that I can now do and in the future I won’t have to pay someone to do them because now I know we can do it ourselves.”
Among the guests at the home dedication were two future Habitat homeowners, Jose and Salim, who are currently working on their sweat equity hours. Salim, who’s first day on a Habitat construction site was that very day, asked everyone to come together for a group photo. To him, the photo captured a memory that he and his family will share one day.