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The Road Home with Habitat--By: Melissa

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The Road Home with Habitat--By: Melissa

Melissa Jensen

Last year, on a whim of a chance of something, I went online and filled out some paperwork for Mecosta County’s Habitat for Humanity. Nothing major. It was really to see if I qualified. It doesn’t mean I’m chosen. It meant nothing. I learned long ago that you can’t get your hopes up.

It was one of those situations that you just take the chance in case something great can come from it. It didn’t cost me any money, and worst case scenario was a no.

I was very surprised when I received a call from Nicole at Michigan Habitat. We went over a few things with my credit report, told me what I should work on and see how it could build up from there. We worked together over the course of the next couple of months and I was able to raise my credit score. At that time, I figured that, if anything, I’m grateful to Nicole for her wonderful help in getting me on track financially. In August, she told me she was recommending me to the Mecosta County Habitat for Humanity Board for Partner Family Selection.

Wait… what? Me? Us? By us, I include my daughter Katherine into this conversation. Smart, sassy, funny, loving, and definitely my favoritest human being on the planet. I couldn’t believe it! We could possibly be the next partner family!

Again, I tried really hard to maintain being cautiously optimistic. Sorta failed, but tried. In hopes of nailing any and all requirements, I was asked to meet with the Board with Katherine. I wanted them to know who we were, what our story was (you’ll hear it another time), how truly appreciated this would be. I’d work hard and know that we were truly a partner in this.

I walked into meeting and started to tell a summarized version of my life story to people I had never met before. I was so nervous and emotional, all I could do was sit there and try to smile through crying. The idea that these people were possibly going to help us to buy our own home was a lot to handle. I left that meeting thinking that they thought I was a crazy person.

About three weeks later, I found out that the house we were renting was being sold. Another move. All I could do was put on the brave face for Katherine and assure her we’d be alright. I did that even though I was ready to cry for days. I should mention that between 2014 and 2015, I moved a total of 3 times. Not one of them was because we wanted to; we had no choice. This was in addition to the numerous times I had moved in my life. I’m definitely over the moving.

Two days later, around 9:00 pm, I received a call from the Executive Director, Barb, telling me we had been selected. We were the Partner Family for House # 31.

Sorry, I still tear up thinking about that moment. I cried, Barb cried. I called my brother. I called my parents. I called my best friend. I had to wait until the next day to tell Katherine when she came back from her Dad’s. She was in disbelief.

And just like that, it became a moment of when, not if. When we move in to our house, not if we get a house. That security, just in those words, makes a world of difference for us.

We couldn’t be more excited for our next move. We are constantly ticking off the days. Katherine had her last birthday not in the house. We had our last Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s not in the house. This will be our last spring not in the house. Our last spring not in our home.

Very soon now, we will start documenting all the changes to the house. Decisions we make. We can't wait to share them with you!