Most of us are fortunate that we don't have to go to bed at night and worry about our home burning down. But that was reality for Jennifer Chambers and her two children. They lived in an old mobile home that constantly had them worried about their safety.
After hearing about Habitat for Humanity (HFH) of Morgan County from a friend, Chambers applied knowing that she needed a safe and secure place for her family. A short time later, Chambers was approved for a home, and she and her family were soon working on their required "sweat equity" hours completing monthly budget classes, homeowner education courses and 300 volunteer hours at a build site.
Chambers says the HFH of Morgan County family was awesome to work with, from Mindy Thwing, the HFH of Morgan County Executive Director. She also said the construction workers were very nice and would take them to lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays when they were working. When asked what it was like putting in all of those sweat equity hours, Chambers said, "It went by fairly quickly for me, and I enjoyed the fact that I was helping someone else get a home too. I guess it's all about how badly you need and want your home."
And the Chambers needed and wanted a home badly. Their wish came true when they moved into their home in Somerville in November 2013. But their hard times weren't over just yet. Just two weeks after moving in, Chamber's colon ruptured. She stayed in the hospital for five weeks and returned home just a few days before Christmas. After the holidays were over, she soon learned her fight was just beginning when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After successful surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, Chambers has been in remission for a little over a year and a half. She says, "The treatment was long and hard. There were days I didn't think I would make it! My children and my home gave me the reassurance I could get through it." Chambers says she believes her recovery was somewhat easier because she no longer had the stress of worrying about her and her family's safety in their old mobile home.
When she shares her favorite things about her home, they include the peace of mind that comes with feeling safe and secure. She also enjoys her yard and loves to plant a variety of flowers in the front and back. She says that purchasing a Habitat for Humanity home has affected her "in the most positive way ever. It is one of the greatest and biggest milestones that has happened in my life. It has meant everything for me and my children."