Being selected as one of Fort Collins Habitat's newest Partner Families is a testimony to Ms. Cloud's ability to overcome obstacles and persevere. Her value of stability is witnessed by her longevity in her profession as a hair stylist and she is committed to providing this same stability for her daughter in a place they can call their own. They eagerly anticipate becoming part of a neighborhood where they will have the opportunity to make a long-term investment in their community. Having been chosen as the next PresBuild II sponsorship recipient, she looks forward to working with numerous Presbyterian churches who will help make her dream of homeownership a reality.
"Being selected as a Partner Family allows me to fulfill a dream, a dream I thought was out of my reach. I am very proud to be part of this extraordinary endeavor. These churches are not only building a house where my daughter and I can build our future, they are building our home. We are filled with hope, gratitude and encouragement."
Being selected to purchase a Habitat home feels like an answer to prayer for The Loughrey family. Ms. Loughrey has worked hard the last few years, completing two degrees and securing a new job as a Design/Sales Associate but homeownership still felt out of reach. As she learned more about the Habitat program, what was only a dream began to transform into a possibility, and finally a reality, when the family learned they had been accepted as a new Partner Family. They now look forward to putting down roots in a community they love, having a home of their own where they can gather with family and friends and a welcoming neighborhood where new and lasting friendships are about to begin.
“I know that our future just got a lot brighter,” says Ms. Loughrey. “Having the security of a nice place to continue raising my family brings me peace and joy that words cannot adequately express. I know that I have been richly blessed through the kindness of others. It is my greatest hope that through this wonderful experience, my children will see the power of faith and love at work, that they will understand this world is full of amazing people, and that they will be inspired to serve others as they are able.”
After ten years of moving within affordable housing developments, the Clark family felt like they had won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes when they were recently selected to purchase a Habitat home. Being self-employed as a Hair Colorist/Stylist, Mom has worked hard to provide stability for her family but each location move has taken a progressively greater toll on them. Unsafe neighborhoods and ever-increasing rent have created an urgency to find a stable and affordable home of their own. As a new Partner Family, the Clarks are excited to begin the process of becoming a homeowner and they eagerly look forward to living next to their new Habitat neighbors.
“I am ready to take this big step into homeownership to fulfill a dream for myself and my children. It’s time for us to put down permanent roots, leave our foot and hand prints in cement, learn some new things and grow as a family. Having a home of our not only means we won’t have to move again. It is also a huge honor, especially because so many loving hands will be having a part in this home.”
In 1997, Mr. and Mrs Karni made the move from Israel to the United States with their three young children. After living in Indiana for one year and Florida for one year, they decided to move to Fort Collins, Colorado, a decision that truly changed their lives forever for the better.
After moving away from Israel, the Karnis were living off of their savings, but by the time that they decided to move to Fort Collins, they had depleted a majority of their funds. The Karnis were living at Country Ranch in Fort Collins, paying out a steep monthly rent rate for a too-small home, and Mrs. Karni was not working because she had three very young children at the time and daycare was much too expensive. “My kids are my life, we sacrificed a lot so that I could be home with them,” says Mrs. Karni about the decision to be a stay-at-home mother and wife. “It’s hard, in that type of situation, to imagine ever being able to own a house.”
At age 31, Mrs. Karni sister Nina approached her with the idea of applying for a Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity home. She was convinced that their family wouldn’t qualify, “I just kept thinking that this wasn’t for people like us,” but after a few weeks of deliberating she decided to learn more about Habitat. “Once I found out more I really liked the idea of partnering to build our house. It really is a hand up not a hand out, and we were willing to work for it.”
When the Karnis were accepted as a Partner Family, they were excited to get started. Mrs. Karni was pregnant throughout the build of their Habitat home so she opted to work at the ReStore to complete her sweat equity hours while Mr. Karni helped to build the home that they now live in. Their build took six months, and Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity took into consideration the fact that the Karni’s are Jewish and allowed for their Synagogue to build on Sundays rather than Saturdays.
The Karni's Habitat advisor Karen, offered support and encouragement throughout the build process. “Karen and I really connected, she understood where we were coming from because she had been in the same situation. She made the entire process comfortable for us and she is an unbelievable woman.” Karen and and the Karnis remain in contact to this day and Mrs. Karni will forever be grateful for the assistance that Karen provided to them throughout the entire process.
“The whole experience was positive. I really feel like our house was built by God and with love. That’s the thing about Habitat, everyone that was there was there out of the goodness of their hearts.” It was due to the 0% interest that allowed for the Karnis to pay their bills and ultimately begin rebuilding their personal funds. Once their Habitat home was built, the Karnis started a business out of their garage. Mr. Karni, a very talented carpenter, began to build furniture and arcs for Synagogues. “We were able to get ourselves out of the hole that we were in. The business didn’t last, but it served its purpose and we were finally out of debt.”
Now, years later, the Karnis are ready to move on from their Habitat home. Mrs. Karni has been a nurse’s aid for four years at the local hospital and will be finishing nursing school in 2012, while Mr. Karni was recently promoted to Plant Manager at Point 5 Windows. The Karnis recently purchased a new vehicle and are planning a trip to Israel to visit family. “It’s nice to not have to worry anymore,” says Mrs. Karni about their current financial situation, “It’s nice to go to the grocery store and buy what we want, and it’s nice to be able to allow our children to participate in sports and extra activities,” in fact, one of the Karni boys, participated as a competitive gymnast before opting to play football with his classmates.
When asked what advice she would offer someone who is considering applying for a Habitat home, Mrs. Karni says “Don’t second guess. Go for it. Be willing to partner because this is the hand up that will help you achieve your goals. It is a gift and a blessing, and if you are in need and you are given the opportunity, take it.” She wants the stigma around Habitat built homes to change, “You should be proud to have a Habitat home. We didn’t want anyone’s pity and we worked really hard to get where we are.”
Equal Housing Opportunity Statement: We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.