Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity
Current Partner Families
When asked about the most daunting aspect of moving out of the apartment she and her family have rented for over 30 years, Frankie Rodriguez had a somewhat surprising answer: “Probably paying utilities. We live in public housing, so the rent is high, but we have never had to pay individual bills and accounts…I’m sure we’ll figure it out”. Frankie, a single mother of four children and one grandchild (Fabian , Nahelly , Paulo , Ervey , and Renesmee ) does not need to be overly concerned about her utility bills, as she and her family will be the proud owners of Greeley-Weld Habitat’s first Zero Energy Home, a project launched in partnership with Atmos energy.
A Zero Energy Home aims to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, incorporating building envelope efficiency, passive and active solar technology, and the latest in energy-efficient appliances and lighting to make the home, and its family, truly self-sufficient. While excited to be the first Greeley-Weld partner families to purchase a Net Zero Home, Frankie is most excited to provide her family with the space to spread out, as well as an increased sense of security. Her family currently shares a four-bedroom apartment, and space is a constant concern: “We don’t even really have hallways, because of the need for storage space,” she said. “It makes it very difficult to move around”.
Additionally, she worries for the safety of her young children living on the third floor, as her windows are unsecured. She is constantly placing objects in front of each window so that her children do not fall out. Her five-bedroom Habitat Home will give each of her children their own space for the first time in their lives and provide an increased sense of safety for Frankie and her family. Frankie also looks forward to contributing her 500 sweat equity hours, reflecting on how many people do not have the opportunity to contribute to the construction of their own home. As a Foreman at Cintas, Frankie is used to hard work and has a network of family and friends in the area who are willing to help. Looking forward to the increased space, security, and stability that her new home will provide, Frankie had a message for Habitat’s staff and supporters: “I never thought I would own my own home…thank you for making our dream come true”.
Mohamed and Fate are from Ethiopia and have 2 children, Sigitan and Ramadon.
Mohamed and Fate have had to move around frequently and many of their apartments were unsafe or were not located in the best areas. They are concerned about stability as they have little children and want to continue to grow their family in a safe environment.
For this family, a Habitat home would provide them the stability and safety they need to raise their children. Having this home would be a dream come true to these dedicated parents.
Tulu Tashite and Ashiya Fitesa have traveled far to get to the United States from Ethiopia. This family of five includes their three young children, Sena, Adbata, and Annanee. Both parents put in long hours at JBS Foods, and on learning that they would become habitat homeowners they felt a real sense of relief: “My family faced many challenges during COVID-19 as we weren’t able to work and pay the bills. Becoming a homeowner, especially during this time, is amazing as it provides a much safer environment for my family.”
This family of five had lived in a one-bedroom apartment which was expensive, unsafe, and cramped. With three young children in such a small area, it is hard for them to play and have space for themselves. Tulu’s family now has the room they need to grow, thrive, and to reap all the benefits that homeownership brings: "Having a Habitat home means a lot to me and especially to my family. We are so happy to get this chance. We are excited to be able to look forward and move into a better situation and a better home, and to spend more time together as a family."
Kelly and William Hanson have been married for 28 years and moved to Greeley, Colorado from Whittier, California over 10 years ago. Since then they have lived in apartments and rentals, none of which were ADA accessible.
For Kelly, access has always been an issue as they are currently living in a 2 bedroom apartment with tight hallways and small doorways. This makes it hard for Kelly to move about and limits her to the use of only one of the bedrooms and she is completely unable to enter the kitchen. She dreams of having a Habitat home so she can finally have the freedom to access to every part of her home.
Both Bill and Kelly want a place that they can invite their daughter and her family to stay and are extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to have a home that is affordable and accessible.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to have a home that I can have full access to and to not feel boxed in. Having a Habitat home would be a great relief as I would mean I have the freedom to move about my own home.”
-Kelly Hanson, future Habitat Homeowner.
Maribel is a single parent with 4 children, Angel, Andrew, Mason, and Isaiah. Her children are very interested in sports and physical activities and want to become football players when they grow up.
They live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with some of the children sleeping in the living room which is also the kitchen and dining area. Their current home is extremely cramped for the family of 5. Because the children are very active, it is very hard for them in such a small apartment and they dream of being able to play sports in their own front yard.
Having a Habitat home for Maribel would be like a dream come true as she would finally be able to give her children the space they need to grow up happy and healthy.
Jaclyn has a renewed sense of hope, knowing that homeownership is in her future. Being approved to purchase a Habitat home will provide the security of not being vulnerable to the decisions of landlords and struggling to find an affordable home that would be accessible. "I was most interested in the Habitat program because it provides the opportunity for me to be able to provide a financially secure future for myself by putting my money towards ownership rather than wasting it on rent."
Jackie was injured in an accident in 2009 when a drunk driver hit the vehicle that she, her boyfriend at the time, and brother and sister-in-law were in. "Thankfully, I was the only one who was injured. After the accident, I moved back to Washington to be closer to my family. But I really missed Colorado and kept looking for an opportunity to move back. I just love the sunshine and being outside. While I was researching, I found the "Greeley Center for Independence". This organization helps individuals with varying abilities be able to live on their own."
"Having a house with a yard will be amazing. I am so excited about it. I am in the final process of obtaining a service dog. The dogs are matched to each person's specific care needs. Having a dog will provide me with a bit more capabilities. For example, he or she can help me if I drop something, open certain doors, and provide a greater sense of security especially when I am out rolling around like at the grocery store. Not to mention, improve my emotional state of being with the companionship." Jackie's "kitty cat" Sully will also be getting a buddy.
"From the time of my injury, I never dreamed of having a home. I am so happy! I can't wait to get out of the rental system, have something that is mine and to be able to have even more independence. This will provide me a home that truly works for me. To have the type of shower I need will help me as well as my caregiver. It will make life easier."
- Jackie, future Habitat homeowner
Thomas became a single father to his two boys in 1994. He worked as a glazier for a local glass company installing windows, showers, and mirrors. But even as a hard-working and determined dad, Thomas was not able to save enough to become a homeowner. Thomas coincidentally installed glass in several Habitat homes in Fort Collins in the 1990s. That is when he first learned about Habitat. He did look into applying to be a homeowner at that time, but the application process was not open.
In 2007 Thomas suffered a debilitating rollover car accident leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. "It has been a long journey of recovery. Experiencing an event like that truly shows you what you are made of. You have to learn to adapt or give up and quit. And that word (quit) is NOT in my vocabulary." After years of physical therapy along with emotional and spiritual growth, Thomas feels as though he has overcome this obstacle. "I finally came to the realization of why... I have been given a second chance. This journey brought me back to a much closer walk with the Lord. I became a Christian when I was 15 years old, but I headed in the wrong direction. Now, I am on a good path."
After losing mobility in both his arms and legs and being confined to a wheelchair, Thomas did not feel hopeful about his housing situation. "I had pretty much written off ever owning a home. For this to come true, I'm flabbergasted.
Currently, Thomas rents an apartment where his entry and exit are through an alley. He has concern for his caregiver when they come in the morning or leave late in the evening.
"My sons are grown now and I even have a grandson! I look forward to having a home to welcome them for visits."
"Owning my own home will be a life-changer for me. I won't have to continue to search for places to live that will be accessible. It is impossible to find a place to rent that will work for my situation. For example, having a shower that I can actually use will be incredible. With homeownership comes a big sense of pride. I will be able to take care of the place the way I want, not as the landlord sees fit. Also, I can't wait for my dog Ruby to have a yard to run and play in!" - Thomas, future Habitat homeowner