"I just feel blessed"
Those are the words of one of Habitat Waukesha's newest homeowners, Deborah.
Faith is a cornerstone for this family. Deborah and her husband, Josh, each moved to Waukesha in 2008 to attend New Tribes Bible Institute, where they met before marrying in 2011. Josh is currently employed as a delivery driver while he works toward his goal of becoming a pastor.
"I think for me it's just security" said Josh, when asked what having a home mean to him. When Deborah was 6 months pregnant with their first child, they had to move out of their apartment with only a 30 day notice.
Four years later, Deborah was pregnant with their third child. The family was living in an apartment with a month-to-month lease, and they didn't want to be in that position again. Besides, their apartment was too small – two bedrooms, one bathroom and a shared laundry space. It was time to get a place of their own but they couldn't afford a traditional mortgage on Josh's income.
They applied for homeownership through Habitat Waukesha, but decided to keep their options open as well. Josh had applied to churches all over the country but turned the decision over to God. One night he wrote in his journal, telling God "where ever you want to put me is fine." When he finished writing, he returned a missed call from Habitat Waukesha's Executive Director. After getting off the phone, he "told God I need to get a jacket" because they would be staying in Wisconsin.
Josh began working on his house right away, learning construction skills from Habitat's faithful volunteers. "It's been very rewarding," he said.
Because she was pregnant, Deborah put in her sweat equity hours working in the Habitat ReStore, painting, doing yard clean up and similar tasks.
The house, built in 1918, was completely renovated by Josh alongside Habitat crew and volunteers. The inside was completely gutted and they moved a staircase in order to add a third bedroom upstairs. The outside of the house received a facelift as well, with new siding, windows and doors.
Josh and Deborah will receive the keys to their new home on Saturday, June 24th following a home dedication and ribbon cutting. Volunteers who worked on the home, Habitat donors and members of the public are all welcome to attend.