Perez Family

When you talk to Freddy Perez, it doesn’t take long until he starts talking about his daughters: Chloe, 9, and Victoria, 5. Chloe, a third grader, is growing up so fast and is active in soccer, biking, and roller blading. Victoria, who started kindergarten in the fall, is just excited to tag along.

You get the sense that Freddy would do anything for his two girls and help his family. Often, that has meant taking on a second or third job in addition to his stable job as an auto mechanic at Grease Monkey, where he has worked for nine years. Freddy’s strong work ethic is also evident on Habitat for Humanity construction sites, where he is a frequent volunteer.

Freddy is excited about participating in this year’s Women Build and getting to meet volunteers. “The best part of Habitat,” Freddy says, “is getting to meet this big community of supporters. Everyone has been so kind.”

Among the community supporters that Freddy has met are several of his future neighbors. When Freddy and his girls move into their home in the Trail View neighborhood, they will be moving into a community filled with families who know each other, a neighborhood where children will grow up together.

Freddy is looking forward to the stability that homeownership will bring. His family currently lives in an apartment complex where they don’t know their neighbors. This time will be different. Freddy already knows his neighbors from working alongside them on the construction site.

Freddy smiles as he imagines what life will be like in their new home. He knows that it will be a big improvement for stability and sense of community, but also for small things like his family’s weekend ritual. On Sundays, the family’s morning routine is to go to church and then have a big breakfast. Chloe and Victoria are fans of the cooking shows they see on TV. With help from their dad, they’ve made some of their favorite breakfast staples: bacon, eggs, biscuits, and gravy. They are all looking forward to trying out recipes and discovering new favorites in their Habitat home.

 

Beginning in 2001, the women of Bloomington and Monroe County joined together to build homes partnership with families in need. The Women Build homes are built in just over a week, and all volunteers are women. Teams of friends, colleagues, and those who just want to make a difference assemble to sponsor each day of the build. Each builder commits to giving or raising a minimum of $250 to assist in sponsoring the home (purchasing land and building materials). When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, the owners pay a mortgage that funds another home until eventually they build a community.