“I feel like children thrive when they feel secure and when there is stability in their lives.”
Sunshine and Jacob have lived in Tucson all their lives, and they don’t plan on leaving.
But one of their biggest challenges they’ve faced since their childhoods was a sense of constant change, since they were frequently moving. “We both grew up moving almost every year,” Sunshine says. “Changing houses and schools, renting, all the time. I think Jacob said that until high school, he had gone to a different school every year.”
Jacob and Sunshine want something better for their two young children.
“There’s always been this landlord who tells you what to do, what not to do,” adds Jacob. “And I’m excited to finally be that person, you know. To have a castle.”
That dream has felt more in reach since they joined the Habitat Tucson homebuyers’ program. After completing their first classes, they felt really inspired and capable.
“It’s not a hand out—it’s a hand up,” Sunshine says. “And I really feel like we can use this knowledge for the rest of our lives—money management, budgeting—and we definitely want to teach our children those things too.”
Sunshine and Jacob have also made incredible bonds with their fellow homebuyers through their classes and sweat equity hours.“In this neighborhood that I’m going to, there’s going to be other people that share the journey that I’ve been through,” says Jacob.
But more than anything, they know this home will be life-changing for their children. “I want to have that wall in the house where you measure the kids as they grow,” Jacob says. “And it will be nice for them—same school every year, same friends in the neighborhood. I never had that.”
“And we’re also excited to actually have a backyard,” adds Sunshine. “Right now we have a tiny little slab of concrete, and it’s not much room for our children to play.”
To Jacob and Sunshine, a home means putting down roots, having this permanent place that the kids can return to for the rest of their lives.
“Right now, we have someone to answer to, and there’s always that knock at the door – but this Habitat home will be our place,” says Sunshine.
“I feel like children thrive when they feel secure and when there is stability in their lives. And that was a hard part for us, growing up, because we were always moving and going to new schools. Our kids won’t have to go through that, and I’m so happy for that.”