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United States: Knowing Home -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

United States: Knowing Home


Ray Montgomery


Habitat homeowner Ray Montgomery spent about four months mowing the grass once (and sometimes twice) a week at the house he would purchase in Omaha. He spent Saturdays on the construction site, bolstered by the support of a close friend who gave up watching much of an entire season of college football to help with his sweat equity hours. He took classes to learn about home equity and volunteered at the Habitat ReStore outlet. He bolstered his credit report.

Overall, the financial and educational preparation Ray went through before closing on his house positioned him to responsibly manage the biggest investment he has ever made in his own — and his almost 2-year-old-daughter’s — futures. “I learned how to save some money,” he says. “I learned how to pay attention to my credit. I learned some home maintenance skills — that was the best.”

Now that he and his daughter are in their Habitat house, there are more bests to come.“I’m so satisfied that my daughter knows where to go for everything that’s hers,” he says. “She knows where to watch her movies, where her blocks are; she knows where her binkies are, even though I’m trying to hide them from her. It puts a smile on my face to know that she knows she’s safe. She’s in a place where nothing can harm her unless she’s being hard-headed. She knows that’s home.”