Do you remember where you were 8/29/05? Lucy Jackson does – vividly. She lived in New Orleans and that’s the date hurricane Katrina hit her city and demolished her home. Lucy had extended family in Cabarrus County and that’s how she ended up in Concord, fleeing only with the possessions she could carry in two suitcases. Lucy moved into a house that had been divided into multiple apartments in Concord. She was happy to find a 350 foot space she could afford.
Lucy has lived in the same apartment for 10 years. Her appliances have been there longer than she has. They are old and need repairs, the HVAC is inefficient and quite expensive, and the roof leaks. Over time Lucy’s health has deteriorated and her medical issues have meant she could only work part time. Even with disability, her finances have remained tight. When the landlord began discussing rent increases Lucy knew she would be stretched beyond her limits.
Lucy began to wonder what other housing solutions were out there. After a discussion on the bus with another Habitat homeowner, Lucy thought Habitat for Humanity might offer a solution for her. She looked up Habitat Cabarrus online and attended an information session.
Lucy started the Habitat homeownership program in late 2014, and is on track to meet her sweat equity hours this year despite her health-related restrictions. Lucy found the financial literacy courses very helpful and comes back to review certain topics. She is motivated to reach financial stability and wants to stay mindful with her expenditures.
Throughout the Habitat homeownership process Lucy has remained upbeat and cheerful. She’s the kind of person who makes others smile. Despite her own setbacks, Lucy remains focused and causes others in the Habitat program to feel good about reaching their milestones. Lucy is really looking forward to having her own space and realizing financial stability. After her Katrina experience, Lucy is probably most excited to be setting down permanent roots.
Construction on Lucy’s Tiny House will begin in Summer 2016. She is looking forward to living in her new, energy-efficient, home next winter and actually staying warm.