In the late spring of 2020, a few weeks after buying her new house, Raven dug her hands into soil for the first time and planted a rose bush. She had never gardened before, but she wanted to have something that would, in her words, grow with her in her home.
Raven began to rehab her house a few months earlier in January of 2020. As we painted, laid flooring, and installed new fixtures, none of us had any idea that by the time work on the house was wrapping up in mid-March, we would be facing the unimaginable disruption of a global pandemic, and Raven would find herself thrown into the strange new world of being an essential worker.
Raven has a 10 year old daughter, and she says the hardest thing about being an essential worker is waking up every day knowing she could be putting her family at risk. Still, though, she says that knowing she is providing an essential service to her community makes her proud.
But the thing that currently makes her the most proud, Raven says, is owning her home. “I feel like more of an adult now that I have something of my own. I feel a sense of strength. I’m jumping into my goals and taking them head on because I believe in myself now.”
Like many homeowners, Raven’s home-buying journey was motivated by her daughter, to whom she wants to be able to leave something and provide a stable childhood home full of good memories.
Also like many homeowners, she did not know if buying a home was feasible for her.
“The day I found out I was accepted into the home buying program, I was driving home from work. I was just ecstatic. Before I got that news, I had been doubting myself a lot, and it was just a huge affirmation to realize I really could buy my own house. I started packing the moment I found out.”
Now that Raven is getting close to the one year anniversary of buying her house, she says her home is a continuous source of joy for her. And fittingly, as she thinks about home-improvement projects she wants to take on, the first on her list is planting a whole new flower bed along her fence so that there is more and more to grow with her in her home.