A community comes together

By the Robles-Leon family, future Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity homeowners



  Read the story of Carney Place from the beginning.

Editor’s Note:
The Robles-Leon family will move into their home in Carney Place, a new subdivision of Habitat homes in Asheville, N.C., later this year. Andrea, their 19-year-old daughter, included comments from her mother Luisa, father Samuel and 16-year-old brother Sammy in this story of the family’s journey to Habitat.

We came to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico, eight years ago in search of a better life. My mother learned English and became a citizen three years ago, and my father is a legal resident. She is a housekeeper at Haverty’s Furniture, and he is an auto mechanic.

When we moved here, we bought a mobile home where we have lived for eight years. For the first eight months, my parents didn’t have a bed and slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. We have two bedrooms, one for my parents and one for me, so my brother sleeps on a bed in the living room. It’s really crowded.

My mother saw an advertisement for Habitat at our church, St. Eugene’s Catholic Church, and she had heard from friends what a great program it was. She got the application but was nervous to turn it in. Then when she did turn it in, she kept asking me to call to make sure they got the application. When we found out we were approved, she got very emotional and cried and cried and said “Thank God!” a lot.

We’ve gotten to know some of our new neighbors. The people who are going to be living next door to us have two little kids, and we were joking that when they need a babysitter my brother and I can provide that.

Mom and I have worked some of our sweat equity hours at the ReStore, and my dad has worked on our house. He says that one of the things he enjoys most is meeting all the volunteers who are part of building the house. Every time they have lunch, he will pray and thank them for all their hard work in building his house.

My dad says that everyone who makes up Habitat is always joyful and happy working for others. He says everyone treats each other like brothers and sisters. They don’t see race or a language barrier; they just see this community working together.