The Wilke FamilyHelena Homeowner
“My journey with Habitat started last fall when I lost my housing unexpectedly. My housing situation before that was perfect. Low rent, centrally located, and I had an amazing landlord. I was planning to live there until both of my kids graduated because everything was perfect. Then the day came that my landlord called to report that the foundation had cracked and there were signs of black mold. I had to move. My world fell apart. I asked myself, “how was I going to afford a place for my two kids and I to live?” A dear friend of mine that works for the Career Training Institute’s Youth Build program had been telling me to apply for the Habitat homeownership program for years. I would always tell her that I lived in the best place and that there were others out there that needed a home more than me. But now the time had come that I needed to follow her advice and apply.
I applied in fall of 2019. The Program Manager has been outstanding in making sure that I understood the process and made me feel better about everything when I was scared of taking a leap and becoming a homeowner. I was chosen to build this year for the 2020-2021 build cycle, and it has been one of the best journeys of my life.
I feel so lucky to have so much support with building my family a home. My soon to be neighbors are amazing to build with and very supportive of each other. I couldn’t do this without the support of my friends and family that take time out of their schedules to come help me build. We have a great time learning new skills and laughing while we work on projects together.
My daughter has me send her pictures every day that I build, and she gets so excited watching it all come together. My kids are already fighting over who gets what room and planning how they are going to decorate.
My plan after my kids are grown and leave the house to start their own lives is to foster teens in my community. Having my own home will help make that dream possible.
This program has changed my life forever. I am so very thankful to Helena Area Habitat for Humanity for giving me this opportunity to have a permanent place to call home.”
-Amber Wilke, Helena Homeowner