Alfredo Hernandez and his wife Maria entered Habitat’s home ownership program in 2013, but owning their own home was a dream that had taken root long ago. Hoping to find better employment opportunities than in their native Mexico, the Hernandez’s came to America over ten years ago, gained citizenship, and eventually settled in Lafayette. With little knowledge of the area, Alfredo, Maria and their two daughters — Marlenne (9) and Lizbeth (4) — found themselves sharing one bedroom in a mobile home owned and occupied by Maria’s sister and her family.
Despite the cramped conditions, both Alfredo and Maria resolved to make the best of their situation. Alfredo began working at a family member’s restaurant, and Maria enrolled in GED classes. It was there that Maria learned about the Habitat homeownership program and applied shortly after.
Since partnering with Habitat, both Alfredo and Maria have made significant progress on their homeownership journey, managing to balance work, sweat equity hours, and looking after their girls. Alfredo noted that his favorite part about working on the construction site is that he learns new skills each time and feels better equipped to take care of his own home.
The Hernandez girls are excited to have their own yard, and are hoping to get a pet. For Alfredo and Maria, however, the real joy will come from owning their own space where they can really give roots to their life in the States. “People think it’s impossible to be a homeowner these days and the process is pretty scary, but Habitat makes it easy,” Alfredo says. “Having our own home- it’s like the real American dream.”
Construction of the Hernandez home began in September 2016 and was completed in April 2017.