A place to grow their family, a place to watch their sons thrive in an accepting community with good schools. To say their Habitat home will mean much to Catrina and Edwin is an understatement.
“It literally means everything,” Catrina said.
Their home, which will be in Flatirons Habitat for Humanity’s Palo Parkway development
in Boulder, “saved us,” Edwin said.
The young couple met, fell in love and married in North Carolina, a place where interracial marriages are not widespread and often not accepted. They moved to Boulder so their two sons, Tripp and Romi, could grow up without facing stigma or prejudice. They moved so the boys could have every possible advantage – from beautiful outdoor spaces to a quality school system consistently ranked among the best in the country.
Boulder to them is the place where they can build the life they want for their family.
But quality education is not the only list on which Boulder can be found. It also has some of the most expensive home prices in Colorado and the country. Faced with condo prices ranging from $750,000 and higher, the young couple didn’t see any way to break the cycle of sharing small apartments with roommates. Until a coworker told them about her mother, who helped build a Habitat home.
They had never heard of Habitat and weren’t sure they would have a chance at homeownership, but they applied. And now they are eager to start their sweat equity to put blood, sweat and tears into their new home. Building something runs deep in Catrina’s family; her grandfather built his own home in North Carolina and it was a source of strong family pride.
“We’ll be pros by the time we’re done,” she said of their sweat equity.
Edwin said he looks forward to writing messages of love on the beams of the home, particularly since it is something they will pass on to their children. The opportunity to grow their family is also is something made possible by the Habitat home, he said.
Catrina, who said she isn’t very handy, looks forward to the bruises she will get when constructing her and her future neighbors’ homes.
She looks forward to knowing how to take care of that home in the future; being able to fix both the little things and the big things that can go wrong in a house.
And, more immediately, she looks forward to adding her own touch to their home. She’s already exploring interior design ideas and paint colors. An energetic woman who wears bright colors with a flair ease many would envy, her touch is sure to be amazing.
But no matter what color the walls are or how the furniture is configured, the home will allow the young couple to stay close to their jobs at a local child care facility. Catrina, an elementary school teacher in North Carolina, was pregnant with Tripp when she began her job search in Boulder. A day care seemed like a perfect fit. After she was hired, Edwin began volunteering at the center, and now he, too, is an employee. He teaches preschool 2, she teaches preschool 3, and Tripp is just steps away in the toddler room.
The motto at the preschool, which is just 10 minutes from the site of their Habitat home, is “just like home,” and Catrina said that is exactly what it is to her family – a second home. Their first home, though, will be their Habitat home. And just like their second home, it will be a place to learn, grow and love. Home sweet home, indeed.
Photo Credit: Malory Toscano