It’s a nice thing, loving and being loved. As the year comes to its end, Alicia Smith, a Habitat homeowner, is thankful for everyone who makes her feel loved – her family, her friends, and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. Alicia began the homeownership program in the spring of 2019, and she moved into her Habitat home with her son just before the pandemic shutdown in March of 2020.
Alicia said her dad is the kind of person who believes in signs, believes that things happen for a reason. While she laughed when saying this, she said getting involved with Habitat was something that happened for a reason. She met Amy, Cape Fear Habitat’s homeowner services manager, at an event, and after Amy encouraged Alicia to apply for a Habitat home, Alicia found the courage to do so. Once approved, Alicia learned that the land her home was built on once belonged to Amy’s dad. She smiled as she said this. Everything fell perfectly into place.
When the pandemic worsened and stay at home orders began, Alicia was happy to be staying home in her new house. Previously, she lived in an apartment that had mold due to persistent water damage from Hurricane Florence. Throughout the past few months of quarantining, she is thankful that she and her son have a safe space to live. They have spent their time watching movies and playing games. For the holidays, Alicia is excited to set-up a Christmas tree, to set up a train track that circles the tree’s base.
2020 has changed the way many people feel about home. Some people are thankful for their home’s good condition, for the way it has become a refuge from the uncertainty of current events. Some people have been quarantining in a home that isn’t safe or spacious enough for their family. Some people struggled to pay rent during and after the shutdown. As we move into 2021, we want to work together to build homes, communities, and hope. We want more people to experience the strength and stability that comes with homeownership, something everyone deserves.