Our first new partner family in 2020 gives us hope for the future - Peter and Cara's Habitat story
Peter and Cara never thought they would be able to find a place of their own near the community they both grew up in. “We were aware of the Habitat program, but were not sure we would qualify,” says Cara. “But when my Mom, who lives in Sidney, saw that Habitat Victoria was accepting applications for the North Saanich build, she gave us the push we needed to look at it again, and we are so glad we did.”
It took a real change in thinking for the family to even consider being able to own a home in the region. “You just wouldn’t dare to hope, but as we moved through each stage in the process we got more excited. Without Habitat, there was just no way we could see being able to afford our own home.”
Peter, a journeyman electrician who works across the Greater Victoria area, grew up with his four siblings in Brentwood Bay. “I want my children to be able to experience the same stability and sense of belonging that living in a community brings. The deep connections I made as a child are still with me today.”
The family of five moved from a two-bedroom basement suite into subsidized housing last November. “We were sharing one bedroom and the second was used for the children’s toys, books and schooling.” Two of the children need additional supports to meet their needs, so it was the only way to make the small space work. The housing they are in now was an improvement, but from the start, they knew they would have to move again as their unit is scheduled to be demolished within the next two years. “The kids just can’t get settled and I know they have been anxious about moving.”
To know that the next move they make will be the last for many years has made such a difference for this family. So much so, that two weeks ago they welcomed their first pet. “We never would have considered one before, but we now feel we can make that commitment as we know where we will be living.” In addition, when the time comes that they feel ready to move on, they know there will be another family who will benefit from this Habitat home in the future.
Peter and Cara will be starting their 500 hours of volunteer service with Habitat Victoria in May. We are thrilled to welcome them into the Habitat family.
Cara, Peter and their three children are looking forward to being able to put down roots in their community, living in a stable home they know they can afford.
Please consider making a donation to Habitat Victoria's latest build projects today. Your support will help more local families build strength, stability and independence through our affordable homeownership program and contribute toward the building of eleven new Habitat homes over the coming year. We hope that all of our new partner families will have the same experiences as Marilyn and Layla, finding support and friendship with their neighbours and being part of building a stronger community.