Joel applied to the Habitat program to provide “the best gift” he can to his three young children: a home of their own.

 Soon, Joshua (5), Joel Jr. (4) and Jessica (3) will see the fruit of their father’s hard work when construction begins on their Trail View home as part of the 2022 Home Builders Blitz. “When they offered me the lot, I was very excited to [know I will] finally have my own house,” Joel said. Joel joined the program over two years ago, and is one of several families that has been waited an extended period of time to break ground on his home due to pandemic-related program delays.

Originally from Toluca, Mexico, Joel moved to Bloomington in 2009. Nearly ten years later, a family friend told him about the Habitat program. In fall of 2019, Joel applied to and was accepted into the homeownership program. “What I like about Bloomington is that it is very quiet. It is the perfect place to live,” Joel explained. The family currently lives in an apartment, but will soon have their own yard, neighborhood green space, and easy access to the B-Line trail that runs along the edge of the neighborhood.

Joel is the primary caregiver for his children and balances family time with his work schedule at Viva Mas and sweat equity shifts with Habitat. “In our free time, we like to play soccer and go to the park.”

Joel earned the first half of his sweat equity hours at the Habitat ReStore, where he primarily helped with donations intake and salesfloor organization. By last summer, he began spending his weekly shifts on the construction site, helping build fellow Habitat families’ homes. “In construction, I have a good time. The [crew] leaders are very good people, and I’ve learned a lot of things. It’s nice to know a little bit of everything. Everyone I have worked with so far have been very kind.”

His interest in the construction process makes his build a perfect fit for the Home Builders Blitz. This spring, he will build alongside a multitude of home builders, contractors, and other knowledgeable construction partners from the local community. This projects brings a new meaning to community build community.

“I thank everyone at Habitat and ReStore. Thanks to you, I am going to have my own house for my family. Thank you very much, from my heart — God bless you always.”

Joel’s home is sponsored by the 2022 Home Builders Blitz. Learn more and see the full list of partners here: