05 Jun


Cassidy's Moving and Storage

Cassidy’s Moves with Habitat for Humanity

This May, we were so thrilled to be able to move one family into their brand new home they earned through Habitat for Humanity.

“It feels fantastic to move such a deserving family into their new home,” says Santino, one of our drivers. “We’ve never felt better.”

Jake (left) and Santino completing the big move.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa Gives Families a Fresh Start

Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa (GO) gives families a chance to start fresh in a new home they help build, earned through hundreds of hours of sweat equity on the build site, in the Habitat Re-Store for used furniture and goods, and at various other Habitat for Humanity events.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the email that we’d been chosen as a Habitat family,” says Rebecca Panter. She and her son are another family that recently moved into their own Habitat home around the same time we were helping our Habitat family.

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A Tough Journey to a Happy Destination

Rebecca and her son had a long road to their new happy home. “We lived in a house that ended up with a bed bug infestation,” Rebecca shares. “It got so bad that eventually we had to give up, and we lost almost all of our stuff. It was really tough.”

After that, Rebecca and her son moved into an apartment downtown. “It was close to a school I had wanted for him, but the apartment had no space – we were on top of each other all the time,” Rebecca explains. “It also wasn’t a neighbourhood where he could go out and play by himself.”

When their landlord applied for a 4.8% rent increase, Rebecca knew they were going to need to move again. “I couldn’t afford that kind of increase. I was talking to my coworkers about it, and they suggested I apply to Habitat for Humanity.”

At first, Rebecca wasn’t sure if it was the right path for her – but when she found out more about how Habitat for Humanity works, she knew she wanted to give it a shot.

“We went through the application, the in-home visit, and the case made to the board about why my son and I would be a great choice,” Rebecca says. It was awhile before she got the email that changed her life.

“I was at work, and I got an email from Nancy Curry, the Family Services Manager. It said congratulations!” says Rebecca. “My heart was racing in my chest, and I read that email many times. I told all my co-workers, I called my mom and dad. It was amazing!”

A Year of Hard Work and Anticipation

It took close to a year to complete Rebecca’s new home. In that time, she put in over 350 hours of sweat equity as the down payment. “I did a lot of hours at the Re-Store, on the build itself, and I helped with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa’s annual gala. My family was also able to complete hours on my behalf, and they were a big help.”

Rebecca got to meet many volunteers throughout the building process. “There are men and women who volunteer weekly because they just want to help,” Rebecca explains. “We met so many nice people – some of them even went home and in their own time, made us cutting boards as a housewarming gift.”

A House Made with Love

Now that they’re in the new home, she still can’t believe it. “We’re so lucky. This house was made with love, and you can feel it.”

Already they’re settling in nicely. “It feels like our home. A perfect sign is that we’re sleeping like logs,” Rebecca says with a laugh.

“I’m looking forward to having a real community to be a part of, and that there are people here who relate to my experiences,” Rebecca says. She’s also looking forward to seeing her son make more friends and have more freedom and space to play.

“The other day I was working outside, dusting off a piece of furniture, and my son just hopped on his bike and started riding around. He now has the freedom and space to be a kid, and it’s exactly what I want for him.”

Her other favourite part of the house so far? “Laundry,” she laughs. “I’ve never had my own laundry machines, and I’m so excited!”

Learn More About Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa

It was such a pleasure getting to speak with Rebecca, and helping another family move into their own home.

If you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity GO, visit their website!

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