MEET THE FAMILIES
THE BUTTON FAMILY
Betty Button and her grandchildren,
Kylie and Scott, Jr.
Kylie and Scott, Jr.
GREAT NEWS – The Button family has a new home thanks to you!
“I’m in awe that so many people are helping to build our home and that the volunteers work so hard.” That’s the reaction that Betty Button, has about the process for her future house being built on Railroad Street in Milton. “I had never done construction before and was nervous about whether I would be able to doa good job on my “sweat equity” hours but it’s been fun! I’ve learned how to cut with a hand saw, how to tape windows and use spray insulation so far.”
Betty is an inspirational woman. She raised her son and daughter by herself and is now the legal guardian of her son’s two children, Scott Jr. who is 10 and Kylie who is 8. She works full time at the UVM Medical Center as a medical assistant, has a scrapbooking business and somehow has time to collect food for the local food shelf and toys for Toys for Tots! As if that weren’t enough, Betty recently had her long hair cut and donated to an organization which makes wigs for people with cancer and alopecia. Inspired by her grandmother, young Kylie is now growing her hair long so that she can donate it.
One of the requirements to become a Habitat Partner Family is that the family must be currently living in unsafe and/or overcrowded conditions and that is certainly the case with the Button family who lives in a 45 year old mobile home. The two-bedroom mobile home has mold and mice have eaten the insulation. In addition, the trailer is sinking which has caused the exterior siding to bow away from the walls. Their heating bills last winter were over $2000 and they were still cold.
When Betty found out about Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, and the information meeting for the Milton house, she became excited about the opportunity to move her family into a safe and decent home. “The process went so quickly and as soon as the Family Selection committee contacted me with questions, I responded immediately! The kids and I anxiously awaited the decision and when I was told that we would become a Habitat homeowner, I burst into tears. We are so grateful for this opportunity to leave very unsafe conditions and move into our own affordable and energy-efficient home.”
“The kids are very excited about having their own rooms. At first they were nervous about changing schools but now they can’t wait to meet their new teachers and to make new friends. Also, they’ll have a yard to play in.” Betty continued, “There are so many things that I’m looking forward to in addition to lower energy bills. Everything will be new! There will be lots more kitchen cupboard space and a space for my washer and dryer. The heating system will keep us warm in the winter. Helping to build our house is so much fun and moving in will be amazing!”
HOME SWEET HOME – “It gives us such pride that we’ll be homeowners!”
Amber and Ira Culver plus their son Noah and Ira’s father Ira moved into their new home at Albert’s Way in April of 2014. The Culvers had been living in a substandard rental house for years. You might find it difficult to imagine that a rental property in Chittenden County could have frozen pipes all winter, a malfunctioning septic system, single pane windows, no insulation and black mold but those are all challenges that the Culvers had to deal with.
Imagine having to fill up jugs of water at work in order to be able to cook and wash dishes and brush your teeth. Imagine having to take showers at work or at friends’ homes. Imagine paying for electric and propane heaters in the very cold winter we just had and still not being warm because there is no insulation and the windows are single paned. Imagine knowing that your children are living in a home with black mold and unsafe wiring. Imagine a landlord who, when the refrigerator broke, told the Culvers that they would have to buy a new one.
Amber said, “Our lives were impacted by the unhealthy and unsafe conditions at the rental house. My son and I have asthma, the stairs were unsafe, we didn’t have any water and the wiring was unsafe. It was extremely stressful and discouraging.”
When asked what it was like when they learned that they had been selected as a Habitat partner family, Amber responded “It was overwhelming to know that we would have a permanent home that we’ll be safe and warm and won’t have to move again. And, since I love to cook, I’ll enjoy having level counters in the kitchen and no plywood floors!
Ira stated “It’s so peaceful at the Albert’s Way site and we won’t miss living on a busy road. Our son has claimed the lazy susan in the corner cupboard as the spot for his cereal and he can’t wait to have land to play on. My father, who lives with us, will have his own bedroom and won’t have to sleep on the living room couch any more. He has loved helping to build our house with all the volunteers and plans to continue to help build the remaining homes.” Amber concluded, “The word home means the three important things in our lives: parents, spouse, kids and we will have our own forever space. It gives us such pride that we’ll be homeowners.”