October 4, 2013

For more than four decades, Debbie rented a house in the Long Acres neighborhood located off Poole Road in Raleigh. The home was substandard in many areas, including electricity and plumbing. Debbie was more than ready to purchase a home of her own. In fact, about 10 years ago, one of Debbie’s friends encouraged her to apply for a home with Habitat. But it wasn’t until Habitat planned to build in the same neighborhood where she has lived nearly her whole life that Debbie finally applied. As of January 20 of this year, Debbie is the owner of a new energy efficient Habitat house on Lansing Street.

From her new home, Debbie continues to walk to her job at a neighborhood daycare. “Habitat was great,” she said. “I’m so excited I could just jump out of my own skin.” Debbie’s home is the first rehab project for Habitat Wake, and is part of a Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative that includes new home construction, exterior home repairs, and collaboration with community partners that work toward improving quality of life for everyone in the neighborhood. The home where she now lives was built in 1955 and was completed remodeled by staff and volunteers.

“This experience was one of the most exciting things in my life next to my children being born,” said Debbie. She has two children, an adult son and a daughter who is finishing up college at North Carolina A & T. While one of her favorite memories from her old home is raising her children there, Debbie definitely felt that “it was time to move.”

Debbie has been very busy unpacking and getting settled. However, she is ready to experience everything her Habitat house has to offer. “This summer I am ready to have some cookouts, and I can’t wait to invite guests over to my new home,” she says.

The substandard home she left vacant in Long Acres was determined unsalvageable and was demolished. Habitat Wake purchased the lot and is building a new home there with another partner family.