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Ask Amber Rubio how long she lived at her last address and she is quick to answer, “31 years.”
For her entire life, Rubio has lived at one address, the home of her grandmother who raised her.
But for what seemed like forever, she dreamed of a home of her own, a house for herself and her children.
Rubio had been everywhere, talked to everyone and tried everything, from banks to credit unions, but she could not qualify for a mortgage loan. Then she turned to Habitat for Humanity for assistance, hoping for help in getting a dream home.
After nearly two years and 300 hours of hard work—“sweat equity”—at construction sites and at the Habitat ReStore, Rubio’s dream is finally a reality. Her new home in Sunset Harbor was dedicated July 29.
Before then, Rubio and her children were crowded into a singlewide trailer that was 25 years old, with spongy floors and failing plumbing. The framing was rusty and the insulation was deteriorating.
Mold and mildew covered most of the wall and counter surfaces. The heating and air conditioning worked sporadically, and several of the floor ducts had fallen out. Electrical outlets in the kitchen did not work and water did not drain from the bathroom sink. There were just two bedrooms.
It was tough enough when Rubio had two active school-age children, but now there is a new baby girl.
It was a grand day when she, Katelyn, Zachary and Marianne—the newest family member—moved into their three-bedroom home July 18. The children have had fun decorating their new rooms and making new friends in the neighborhood, but Rubio is just happy to be “home.”
“I love this house!” Rubio said. “Even before it was finished I used to come over here to clean up and sweep and I would just sit in here when there weren’t even any walls and just imagine what it would be like when it was finished. And it’s wonderful!
“Habitat for Humanity helped me when nobody else would or could. They were strangers then, but they helped me. Now every one of them is like family to me.”
Rubio wept openly while thanking members from the construction crew, staff and board of directors.
Steve Collins, president of Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity’s Board of Directors, said, “This is why we do what we do. When you see how thrilled and happy these partner families are to move into their new homes, how excited the children are, you know it is a job well done.”
He congratulated the construction crew, lunch volunteers, board members and staff for efforts and commitment to Habitat’s mission. Habitat for Humanity believes everyone deserves a decent place to live, and works to provide basic affordable housing for those in need.
Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity is at 4255 Long Beach Road, Oak Island. The local affiliate also runs two resale stores, one at 7011 East Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach and the new store at 4071 Long Beach Road in Southport.
You can support Habitat’s mission by volunteering or with donations of goods, services or financial contributions. Call 454-0007 for more information.