Just passed Humanity Lane in south Sacramento there lays a yellow house belonging to the Nolasco family, living the American Dream.
Leticia Nolasco says it feels “awesome” having her own place and a secure roof over her family’s head; a dream she thought was attainable one day, just not right now.
Before getting help from Habitat For Humanity in April 2015, the Nolascos suffered from growing mold throughout their overcrowded 700-square-foot home.
Leticia’s husband had three jobs but that was not nearly enough to stop calls from debt collectors. In time, she said, “we did it, we paid everything off.”
That's when the family applied for a Habitat house. After being told it would take months to review the family’s application, the stamp of approval came in two weeks.
While the process sounds like no sweat, it’s the next part of the journey that was most challenging, but worth the work. The Nolascos had to help build their future home themselves.
“Sometimes it was really hard days of construction,” explained Leticia.
She said it was visions of her home and what it would look like one day that gave her the physical and emotional strength to keep hammering away.
Five-hundred hours of sweat equity later, it was move-in day.
Habitat For Humanity may do key hand-offs, but reminds volunteers and people learning about the Greater Sacramento organization’s 32-year history that this process is not a handout.
“We consider this a down payment,” said Habitat For Humanity corporate development and PR officer Laine Himmelmann. “Families pay a small closing cost then take on a 30 year, zero percent interest mortgage...their average payment will range from $500 to $800 a month and that includes taxes, insurance and compounds.”
You could call this a springboard to a more colorful life filled with home ownership confidence.
“You wake up and look up at the house and the big ceilings and windows and closet. It feels like a dream but it’s real,” said Leticia.
Her seventh grade Honor Roll student son, Diego, has dreams of attending Stanford University. He told his mom he wants to be the first Mexican president of the United States of America. Leticia feels the family’s stable home and sense of security directly impact’s Diego’s good grades and ability to dream big.
“I feel really blessed. It’s nice. I love my house," she said.