The Babcock Family

Partner Family

The Babcock Family

Partner Family

“Three years ago, I was at rock bottom in my life. I had no self-worth, no hope, no thoughts of myself deserving a good life. I was incarcerated and pregnant with the clothes on my back. Homeless, in a badly abusive relationship and addicted to drugs. I desperately wanted a different life yet had no idea how to achieve that.

I spent the next three years of life until now rebuilding my life from the ground up rebuilding my relationships with my family, learning my self-worth, and finally having hope in life. I have moved 10 times in the 3 years I have been in Helena.

To explain what Habitat means to me cannot be put into few words. The thought of earning the home in order to become a homeowner is beyond a dream come true for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this was possible. It is so much work to put this all together from getting good credit to hanging drywall to painting and every part of the in between process of building a home. All the hard work makes it that much more wonderful to become a homeowner and feel like this house truly belongs to my family… that I have earned every part of this house.

FINALLY, a home! Somewhere where my kids can be and not have to uproot and move again. To build relationships with my neighbors and watch our kids grow up together. To be in a community where we belong and where we will thrive and never have to worry about our living situation. Habitat has given all of this to my family and more. So, when I say there are not enough words to describe the awesomeness of this program, there truly are not enough words! To walk me through each step of this process, all of the paperwork, teaching me how to build – all of it has helped me learn how to be sufficient and successful on my own and helped me know that I have the tools to do this and do this right.

I happened to really luck out. I put in my application to Habitat and was told it would probably be three years until I had a home. Another family had left the program during the middle of a build cycle and my application hit the top. I missed out on a lot of the beginning build but was so grateful for the opportunity to join at all and still get to learn skills.

I honestly had never used a power tool before, ever. I am really quite good as a drywall hanger though, if I do say so myself…….and I love using power tools now! I will not freak out because I know I can fix something in the future because I have the skills. I now know that I most certainly CAN fix anything and I have the utmost confidence in my ability to do so. What a feeling!

So, I was building for a few months and then COVID-19 hit. I had to switch homes with another family and the building of my home was put on hold for a short amount of time. There were some difficult situations during this time. One of which was the house I currently was living in and renting was sold. Since my home was not going to be done until the very end of summer, I had to find a temporary place to live for 3 months. Habitat worked with me, with the new owners, and with the realtor company to support me with getting into a shorter lease so my family was not homeless for those 3 months. Every step of the way, Habitat stayed beside me and worked diligently with me to help get me and my family through the challenge until we could move into our own Habitat home.

There are a lot of parts to becoming a first-time homeowner and Habitat takes each and every step with the build group to get us all from the beginning to the end. This program gives so much to the families and Habitat makes it all possible. Without Habitat I would still be renting and moving around a lot, having a hard time with affordable housing as most single parents struggle with finding an affordable place to call home. Habitat opened the doors to a whole new chapter for my family and we are forever grateful.”

-Ara Babcock