Jessica Rodriguez and her three-year-old son, August, now have a big, safe yard to play outside in.
Both the Rodriguez and Brown families were given the keys to their new duplex in Aspen Ridge on Thursday.
Their homes were part of the Habitat for Humanity Red Deer affordable home-ownership project that involves building affordable housing for those in need.
Previously, Jessica was living in a cramped apartment in a neighbourhood she didn’t feel safe letting August out to play in.
“I am really looking forward to feeling the privacy and feeling protected and feeling secure and also confident,” she told a large crowd that gathered for the ceremony on Thursday.
”I will no longer be constantly looking for a place that gives me that satisfaction. I am really grateful that I was given the opportunity to apply to this program that helps families that have less possibilities and resources to obtain their homes. Now I know my son will be able to enjoy a space to play outside and also develop as all children deserve.”
Jonathon Brown thanked the community and volunteers who came together to build the house over the past eight months. “This is so incredible,” he said. “Thank you all. Thank you.”
Mayor Tara Veer spoke at the ceremony and praised the volunteers who put the time and energy into building the two houses.
She said because of the community these two families will have life-long security.
“Your commitment to work alongside sponsors, donors and volunteer labourers to make owning a home a reality for those who could otherwise only dream of the possibility is to be publicly commended,” she said. “Together with the Brown and Rodriguez families, these homes are a collaborative effort between many partners.”
Red Deer North MLA Kim Schreiner, who put in some volunteer hours to help build the homes, said the project shows what can happen when a community comes together.
“Today embraces so many aspects of happiness and truly represents the amazing accomplishments that arise from hard work, dedication and the essence of community-mindedness. Today is a testament to the sum of the whole not being independent of its parts.”
Habitat for Humanity Red Deer CEO Karen Vavrek said the journey involved with building these houses was special because it was a collective effort.
“It is truly incredible what can be accomplished collectively for such a worthwhile endeavour. To our valued volunteers, our donors, staff and community partners, we stand in awe of you and are so grateful for your hard work and your effort. Here are the fruits of your labour.”
The two houses are the 33rd and 34th houses built by the international non-profit in Central Alberta.