Resolving an Uphill Battle

August 16, 2023

Resolving an Uphill Battle

Habitat Omaha’s Home Repair Program brings peace of mind

Mary has lived in her house for more than 45 years. She moved there in 1977 with her young children when her mother needed assistance. Mary took the bus to her job, which offered little pay and no insurance but gave her the benefit of time to care for her mother as needed.

The costs of medical care and raising children, as well as the rising costs of living, took priority. Then, her mother passed away in 2001, leaving Mary with only one income. She received some assistance through a government program, but 20 years after her mother passed, Mary could no longer ignore the repair problems her home needed.

“I’d been working, trying to save,” Mary said. “But you can’t save because everything has gone up.”

“The roof was peeling and leaking,” said Randy Beagley, project manager at Habitat for Humanity of Omaha. “The heater was old, 20 – 30 years or more, and was not heating up like it should.”

The biggest problems, however, came from someone attempting to break into her house, knocking out the large window in the front and shredding the bottom of her front door.

“I had to take a piece of tape and put it over the hole,” Mary said.

Mary realized she could no longer ignore the damage to her home, and she would not be able to stay comfortable in a structure that was letting in the elements. Fortunately, she knew Habitat Omaha.

“It’s been over 10 years I have been aware,” Mary said. I thought: “They should have something for those of us who
need help.”

Mary applied for the Home Repair Program for a no-interest loan. In spring 2022, she received a new heater and air conditioning unit and the roof shingles were replaced in September. Then the front door was fixed, and finally, the windows were replaced in January. Her house no longer served as a reminder of an unpleasant experience.

“I said ‘Mother, I got the windows in,’” Mary stated. “Habitat (Omaha) has been really helpful. You gave me peace of mind.”

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