When Francisca & Ricardo moved from Mexico to Bloomington in 2010, they weren’t sure how long they would stay. But as time went on, they made strong community connections, found joy in the city, and established a sense of belonging. And while they have been in Bloomington for over a decade, it was just 3 years ago they discovered the incredible opportunity to own a home through Habitat for Humanity, thanks to a Facebook post made by humanitarian, Mr. Don Daniel Soto.
The timing of this opportunity filled Francisca & Ricardo with hope. The couple was expecting a second baby at the time, and they were facing numerous challenges, including secondhand smoke from neighbors and a neglectful landlord who subjected them to difficult living conditions. On top of that, they had endured years of instability due to frequent moves to unsafe neighborhoods. However, their most heart-wrenching hardship was the painful separation from their first daughter, Abril, who remained in Mexico.
Motivated by their hope and vision for a brighter future, Francisca & Ricardo applied for the opportunity to build a safe and stable home through Habitat for Humanity—a home that would not only provide the security they yearned for but also have a special room for Abril, symbolizing their unbreakable bond as a family.
In December of 2022, after enduring many years of longing and the physical distance between them, Francisca & Ricardo and their daughter Leah (age 3) were joyfully reunited with Abril (age 15). Their journey, guided by love, patience, and optimism, brought them to a point of reunion and newfound hope. Now, with hearts brimming with gratitude, they eagerly look forward to leaving behind their challenging living conditions and the pain of the past to embrace a happy future of togetherness within the walls of their soon-to-be Habitat home.
“We had important moments as a family [in our current apartment],” Francisca says. “But I won’t miss anything.”
This September, construction of the family’s future home will begin in Habitat’s Osage Place neighborhood. The build is made possible by Women+ Build 2023. During this annual volunteer opportunity and fundraiser, women+ from all walks of life come together to build homes with families and individuals in need of safe, sustainable and affordable housing in Monroe County.
“The Women+ Build is so wonderful and very exciting. There is a lot of power and energy. The construction of the home being led by women means so much to us because of our two daughters. It shows them anything is possible.”
Although the physical construction of their home is still a month away, Francisca & Ricardo have been actively involved in Habitat program. They have dedicated their time and efforts by volunteering at ReStore and participating in various activities on the construction site. They are deeply grateful for the sense of joy and fulfillment that the Habitat staff, crew leaders, volunteers, and fellow future homeowners bring to the experience. Moreover, they cherish the connections and bonds they have already forged with other families who will soon become their neighbors.
The anticipation and sense of camaraderie among the community amplify Francisca & Ricardo’s gratitude and excitement as they await the upcoming build of their new home. With each step of the construction process, the couple envisions the countless moments of joy and togetherness that lie ahead, forging a path towards a life filled with love, laughter, and endless possibilities.
Francisca & Ricardo’s home is sponsored by Women+ Build, an annual volunteer opportunity and fundraiser, women+ from all walks of life come together to build homes with families and individuals in need of safe, sustainable and affordable housing in Monroe County.