“This opportunity is so amazing, that it doesn’t feel real,” says Rachel Swoape.
Rachel was born and raised on the outskirts of Bloomington in an old farmhouse, and has stayed in the area for most of her life. She got out on her own right away: working, and starting to pay rent in one of the most expensive cities in Indiana. “It’s so expensive to live in Bloomington, and taking a step ahead towards owning my own home just never seemed like an option” she said.
As a waitress at Mother Bear’s, Rachel works most evenings, only to return to an overpriced one-bedroom house. She has been there for about two years, and the place is in need of repairs. “I can’t wait to finally have my own home, to live in a safe and secure environment, without answering to a landlord. My utilities are so high now that my expenses will actually go down with my home.”
Rachel is one of two families whose homes will be built during Women Build 2018. “These women are so excited and passionate, and being a part of that makes me excited to start building,” Rachel shared. “My first time working on the construction site will be my own house.” Rachel has earned many of her sweat equity hours working at the Habitat ReStore.
Her home will be built in the Trail View Neighborhood, and she is excited to live in a neighborhood of friendly people, including two friends she made through the Habitat program. “I met my next door neighbor, and I feel like she already helps me out a lot,” Rachel said of Corinne, the other Women Build homeowner.
Rachel is excited to have a two bedroom house, because she hopes to set up her arts and craft supplies in the extra room. Though she doesn’t “have technical skills,” she enjoys being crafty with paint and mixed medias in her spare time. Rachel also can’t wait to fill all of her windows in her new house, because “plants are my preferred pet. They ask for so little!”
Rachel actually found out about Habitat through her current landlord. “He had a Habitat house when he was younger, so he helped me learn more about it. I had heard of the program, but I didn’t know what it was. If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gone for it!”
“The world isn’t always set up to want to help people, but Habitat is. It’s not a hand out, it’s giving people a chance,” Rachel said. “Nothing is handed to you; I have worked to earn this. I am just grateful for the opportunity!”
Rachel’s home is sponsored by:
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).