Free to be me: Amanda’s Story

How are you living unboxed? The answer varies from person to person, but at Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, we believe that living unboxed means having the freedom and the space to do something new that you have always wanted to do. Starting a garden, travelling, decorating rooms without restrictions – anything is possible!

We sat down with Amanda, a Habitat homeowner, to learn more about how living unboxed as a homeowner has changed her family. Graduating this summer with a degree in Human Services, Amanda reflected on the power of her community in supporting her journey and how it has shaped her love of service.

“When people say they purchase a house, it always sounds so complicated. And it really wasn’t,” says Amanda. “From the start of the application process to qualifying to then speaking with the credit union, the people that are involved with Habitat for Humanity Edmonton made it easy and accommodating for us. The hardest part was just signing all the papers.”

For Amanda, living unboxed means that she can create a foundation for her family and their new home, learning to accept the freedom that comes with being comfortable in their lives. Homeownership brings a newfound freedom from the fear of constantly moving, fear about what the future holds, and what your children will encounter. Rather, there is more time in the day to invest in family time and reprioritize what matters most.

“I’m finally able to give support and have the capacity to support my kids and be there for them more as a mom,” says Amanda.

Getting connected

Amanda and her kids, Bella and Jaden, are each finding new ways to put down roots through personalizing and making plans for the future. Inspired by her volunteering at the ReStore, Amanda and her daughter have started upcycling and repurposing and enjoy putting their crafty creativity to the test. With the freedom of personal spaces, they have each put their mark on their rooms and enjoy turning a house into a home through gardening. As a family, they have developed a schedule that gives them the freedom to be intentional with their time together.

“With our new home, we’ve been able to plan and invest in our future,” says Amanda. “We’ve seen that with planning and being very purposeful and intentional with our money, we were able to learn how to get to the next level and get to the next steps.” In hopes of seeing Bella and Jaden flourish, Amanda has set up RESP accounts so they can pursue school without fear of debt in their own timing.

A home for today and hope for tomorrow

The Habitat homeownership program offers a sustainable model for new homeowners, walking with you along every step from start to finish. Once a family is ready to move onwards, they sell their home back through our buyback program. Once the family has received their equity and moved on from the program, Habitat prepares another homeowner to purchase a home.

Looking ahead, Amanda is working towards owning her own home outside of a condo. In the meantime, her family is enjoying the freedom to move and explore in their own time, through travelling and investing in her community. Bella and Jaden have found a community that has helped them to get connected, find confidence in who they are, and invest in new friendships. By ensuring her kids can take comfort in living in a stable household, she has watched it transform her family.

“Because I can be fully present, they’re able to come to me with their problems, whereas before they didn’t want to do that. It has helped provide a foundation for us to be a family and that is our greatest strength. Without the three of us, we wouldn’t have had this home.” 

For the family who will one day benefit from the buyback program, Amanda hopes they are open and can embrace this opportunity fully.

“There’s a lot of opportunity in being a homeowner with Habitat for Humanity,” says Amanda. “I’ve learned so much from just being a volunteer, and I have learned so much from establishing myself as a homeowner.”

At Habitat for Humanity, we take a person-centred approach to homeownership, meeting you as you are and not who you believe you have to be, and opening a door to help you become a homeowner today. Regardless of your situation, being a homeowner can be your reality through Habitat.

See if you are eligible today!