“Habitat gives us the opportunity to have a better life. We’re just so grateful.”
Pedro and Susana joke that they’re opposites that complement each other. Pedro is the dreamer and Susana is the realist. And that came to light when they found out that they had been accepted into the Habitat homeownership program.
Pedro was at his work office, Hensley Beverage Company, where he’s been a driver for two years, when he got the call that the family had finally been accepted into the program. He cried with joy and relief.
When he told Susana that evening, she didn’t believe him. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up again. I was worried that we wouldn’t make it again!” Susana.
This was their third time applying. But the acceptance call came as a huge relief.
Currently, the family lives in a two-bedroom, one-bath 1976 mobile home. They joke that it’s a “fixer upper,” but what they really mean is that everything needs to be fixed. The windows, ceilings, doors, walls, plumbing. Without heating or cooling, and no ventilation, there’s mold in their home.
A lot of income goes into fixing the home, making it difficult to save for other important expenses.
For example, their bathroom needed to be completely redone and the family spent over $2,000 to make it useable again. “We fix one thing and then another thing breaks,” says Pedro.
Not only are Pedro and Susana opposites in personality, they also had drastically different upbringings. Pedro is from Maywood, a rough city in Los Angeles county. Shootings and robberies happened frequently, with gangs and drug dealers on every block. “The struggle was real,” he says.
Susana was raised in a Christian home and has a huge family. Her father, a teacher, worked a second job on weekends, which meant she didn’t see him very often.
Pedro is grateful that his children won’t have to experience the things he had to go through as a child, and Susana is grateful to be present and engaged in their children’s upbringings. Pedro sees Habitat as the facilitator of these goals.
“Habitat gives us the opportunity to achieve the things we want to do when it comes to raising our children. And the opportunity to have a better life. We’re just so grateful.”