Ms. Hernandez had done everything right. Married – check. Two kids – check. But an abusive relationship undid all of Maria’s hard work. So she and Ivan and Ivonne (her children) started from scratch in a low-end neighborhood in Orange County, CA.

Ms. Hernandez continued to do everything right but she never felt safe.  So she and her children packed up and moved to Cabarrus County, NC with no family or friends to provide back-up.

Maria found solid employment in retail and rented a single room for the three of them. It was crowded but they were making forward progress until a burglar broke into their room and stole everything of value.

Maria told her employer about the theft and asked for recommendations for better places to live. Maria’s boss just happened to serve on the Habitat Cabarrus board and she told Maria about the Habitat homeownership program. A dream was born.

After the Hernandez family moved into a small two-bedroom apartment, Maria entered the Habitat program. They were still quite crowded –but the Hernandez family knew it would be a temporary problem. Both Maria and Ivan work in retail so completing their sweat equity hours is a scheduling challenge.

Once completed this fall, the Hernandez home will provide emotional, physical, and financial security to a family that really appreciates that kind of safety.