The Saarinen Family

Partner Family

The Saarinen Family

Partner Family

Shelby Saarinen and her son, Sean, are part of our current six-home construction project. Below, Shelby talks about how being a part of Habitat’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program has impacted her and her son:

“Habitat is the blessing I didn’t know I deserved. When I had more than one friend suggest to apply for “a Habitat house”, I really thought it was for people who were down and out. I was having trouble securing housing due to cost, but I was in no way suffering. But that’s what’s so awesome about Habitat! It’s a hand UP not a hand OUT! I was approved for a home loan, I committed to putting in the work – over 1200 hours, every Wednesday night and every Saturday all day, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 9 months. We are about 75% complete and I can finally envision our life in this house now that we have textured walls. It’s been exhausting but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And the volunteers that have come out to help make this a reality, I can’t thank them enough! We rely on each and every hour that’s volunteered and it helps us get one day closer to move in. Building my own house has been so eye-opening and humbling. I’ve learned more than I would have ever thought possible. But, the greatest thing is the community we’re building. My neighbors are the best! We build together every day. We have learned so much about each other, and we would do anything for each other at the end of the day. That’s priceless. I can imagine all our kids playing together on summer nights, having bbqs, and sharing birthday parties. This whole thing still seems a bit of a dream but I can’t wait to share my successes with one less stress – affordable housing, thanks to Habitat for Humanity and the selfless volunteers in Helena.” -Shelby Saarinen, Partner Family 2019-2020