Homownership Becomes ‘Mission Possible’ for Single Mom in Blair

April 30, 2024

Homeownership Becomes ‘Mission Possible’ for Single Mom in Blair

Autumn has a simple description for her light yellow three-bedroom home in northeast Blair – “Mission Possible.”

Before she purchased her home through Habitat for Humanity of Omaha about five years ago, she said her homeownership mantra was more of a “seemingly impossible” mission.

At that time, Autumn was raising her three children as a single mom, moving from a rental home to her parent’s home, to another rental home, and back to her parent’s house with her children in tow, and working three jobs to do it.

“In 2014, a big hail storm destroyed everything,” she said of the house she was renting. That natural disturbance created a whirlwind of storm clouds that threatened her ability to keep her family afloat.

Autumn found temporary shelter at her parents’ house while seeking another house large enough to accommodate her family. She found a great house, but soon after, the owner chose to sell it. “I found myself always striving to get ahead but always kind of falling short,” she said. “So, I found myself again, kind of like, ‘Oh gosh, what are we going to do now?’”

The immediate answer was to return to her parents’ home – again. While there, she became acquainted with Habitat Omaha while helping a friend go through her homeownership process. Autumn said she learned that Habitat Omaha homes were not free, and there were requirements to earn the opportunity to own a home.

“It was a great experience going through it with her. So, I thought, you know what, I’m going to apply and see what happens.” Soon, she was accepted into Habitat Omaha’s counseling program, now called “Home Journey.” The process wasn’t easy, Autumn said. She had to work on structuring some debt to be successful. “They (Habitat Omaha) let me know what I needed to do, and they made it a lot easier to take the reins on it.”

Fast forward a year and a half, and the seemingly impossible seemed possible. Autumn’s situation didn’t fall short this time. She turned the key and opened the front door of her new home.

Autumn won’t forget the timing. “It was very close to Christmas,” she said. “It was amazing. We were all excited more than I could imagine.” It was the best Christmas gift. Even days before the holidays, we got the (Christmas) tree up, twinkling with cheer. Now, the entire family celebrates Christmas at Autumn’s home each year.

But that was not the only gift Habitat Omaha made possible, she said. “It was life-changing to know, as long as I kept working hard, I could have that stability with my kids.” Autumn said she feels like her future is clear. “I really feel great about where I’m at now . . . being a homeowner and taking pride in the house and having security and stability.”

And for Autumn, the story does not end with her home. It is about community and helping others. “It was humbling to see the community come together to change my life. “I don’t think without them and Habitat for Humanity, even to this day, that I would be a homeowner.

“I want to give back any way I can,” she said. “I’m forever grateful for Habitat and all the support making the seemingly impossible possible.”

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