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‘I have a house’

Pensacola Build-a-Thon 2012 homeowner sets her sights on a new dream
By Julie Gurnon


Jacara Owens is eager to be a homeowner. Helping to build her own home has made her more appreciative of it and more knowledgable about maintaining it, she said. Photo by Julie Gurnon


House No. 6 at the AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon in Pensacola will become home to Jacara Owens, 30, and her three children, Jaylen, 9, Jordyn, 7, and Aniya, 1.

Owens spent Thursday performing sweat equity on her home, alongside a group of AmeriCorps volunteers.

“I have a house,” she said, still in partial disbelief that only four days ago, the site had been nothing but a concrete slab.

Her sweat-equity experience has given Owens a newfound appreciation for anyone who builds houses.

“I know exactly what it takes, because I’ve been out here on hot, sweaty days,” she said.

Not that she’s complaining.

“It makes you feel good inside,” she said, “knowing you’ve worked to get what you have, and the reward in the end is your own home.”

Owens is glad to be moving into a neighborhood with lots of playmates for her kids. The apartment complex they’ve been living in has some “unsavory characters” around and, of course, no yard.

Owens, a pharmacy technician at CVS, needs just a few more hours of credit to get her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Then she plans to take advantage of CVS’s tuition reimbursement plan to pursue her dream of becoming a pharmacist.

The goal seems a lot more attainable now that she and her family will have a home of their own.

After working shoulder-to-shoulder with an energetic group of AmeriCorps members, Owens had only positive things to say about them.

“They’re great,” she said. “Not a lot of people in this day and age take the time to help other people. It feels good that they took a week out of their schedule to help us build our dream.”

The dream isn’t far off now. House No. 6 will soon be 8831 Figland Ave., home of the Owens family.