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.”