One day Odessa had a life, a plan, and a husband. The next day she was a widow without an income or a Plan B. Most people are working hard on Plan A. But what if Plan A goes south – what then?
Odessa’s Plan B meant renting a single bedroom in a home without working heat. She helped pay to fix the HVAC but she still didn’t really have a home. Odessa’s landlord doesn’t like for her to cook in his kitchen because the smells from cooking linger due to poor ventilation. Odessa “cooks” when she microwaves meals in her bedroom. She has very little privacy because she shares the bathroom with other renters. In addition, Odessa is expected to vacate her bedroom when her landlord has overnight guests. Odessa found work as a prep cook with CMC-NE and enjoys it, but her income simply will not stretch to cover rent elsewhere.
Odessa learned about Habitat for Humanity twenty years ago but never thought she would qualify homeownership program. After nearly five years renting a single room, Odessa dreamed of living somewhere she could call her own. She decided Plan B could be improved upon and applied with Habitat in 2015.
Due to health issues and her work schedule, Odessa found working her sweat equity hours quite challenging at first. With a little flexibility from her employer, Odessa now performs her sweat equity hours on weekdays. She is very excited to know home ownership is within her grasp.
Odessa was surprised to find how much she learned from the financial literacy classes. She says her most important take-away from the Dave Ramsey Course was, “Save, save, and save. Oh and learning how to balance bills.” Odessa was surprised by how much she could achieve when she put her mind to it. She says the Habitat program is hard but well worth it. Odessa moved into her home in early April 2017.
Here are some photos from Odessa's dedication on April 4, 2017