Landing on a New Home
Amber and her children come home from work, or school, and gravitate towards Marshmallow. The Syrian hamster is one of three pets the family has acquired since becoming Habitat Omaha homeowners.
Amber used to live on a land agreement in a cottage, which worked for her as she wanted to renovate and purchase it from the landlord. He, unfortunately, did not seem willing to sell. As Amber’s family grew, the dwelling began to feel smaller.
By 2016, an air mattress in the living room sufficed as bedding for some family members, and they ate at a folding table. Amber again asked her landlord about purchasing the property. When he said no, she pursued other options, including searching for homes on her own through a real estate agent.
Amber didn’t have any success using that route, but discovered she could purchase a house with up to five bedrooms through Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. Amber was familiar with our organization, as she and her mother volunteered for Habitat ReStore in South Omaha in the mid-2000s. Amber also volunteered for Habitat Omaha as a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
In January 2021, she met with two Family Services counselors via Zoom, and spent that year becoming mortgage-ready and completing sweat equity. By Dec. 8, 2021, Amber and her three children had moved into their own residence. Her children love sleeping in their own rooms, and the ability to keep pets.
“Where we lay our heads down at night is ours,” Amber said. “Our dining room and living room also allows us to have a dining room table up all day. Getting my kids to school — whether I take them myself or they walk— is not dependent upon others … because of our home.”
Amber’s Habitat Omaha journey continues — in September 2022 she became a home repair associate and now works at the Midtown office, helping people through the organization that helped her.