Hard work and perseverance pay off and Bob and Alice Wilmoth know a thing or two about both.
It has been a continual challenge for Bob and Alice Wilmoth to find affordable and safe housing here in Bloomington—in fact, they’re currently living in a temporary apartment while flood repairs are being made on their home to address water damage and mold. After moving around often, they’re both very eager to own their own home and settle somewhere permanent. “We’re excited to have a place to call our own for the rest of our lives and not be at the mercy of someone else to address issues or fix things,” said Bob.
Bob is also ready to have a safe and steady place for his granddaughter Remy to come and visit and a yard for her to play in. “I can’t say how amazing it will be for us all to spend time together at ‘grandpa’s house’ instead of grandpa’s apartment or trailer.” Alice, who loves to garden and plant flowers is looking most forward to having her own yard. “I can’t wait to have our own space where I can plant literal roots with flowers and vegetables and then see them grow and come back year after year.”
Alice, who works at IU Health Hospice in the quality assurance department, is an avid crafter and reader and Bob, who is on disability, loves woodworking and tinkering with his 1978 Yamaha XS 750 he essentially re-built from the ground-up. They met at local restaurant the Runcible Spoon and have been married since 2005.
While they had known of Habitat for some time, it wasn’t until they saw Alice’s childhood friend Rachael Swoape go through the program and purchase her home that they considered applying for themselves. “We were at a place in our lives where we had found someplace relatively safe and stable to live for the time being but there wasn’t really room for any improvement or growth beyond that,” she said. “We wanted to keep moving forward and do something to make our lives better in the long-run.” Alice and Bob turned their application in at the very last minute, on the last day in-fact, and haven’t looked back since being accepted into the program.
They have enjoyed their homeownership classes and being able to work and progress forward alongside fellow families in the program often sharing anecdotes about experiences and supporting each other on the journey. “The whole Habitat program is built for you to succeed and going through this together has made Alice and I a stronger team together,” Bob shared.
Alice and Bob have done a lot of their sweat equity volunteering time at the Habitat ReStore where Bob has been putting his woodworking skills to great use by re-purposing pine and cedar donated to the store to build bird and bat houses that can then be sold to customers. “It is pretty cool that by building homes for bats and birds, I can in-turn provide a way to build our own house,” Bob said.
They have seen the Whirlpool Build unfold on their way to and from church at St. Paul the past few years, but it hasn’t really sunk in that this year they will be the family who’s home almost 400 people come together to build over about a two-week period of time. “These students, these volunteers are the most important people in our lives right now and they don’t even realize it yet,” said Bob. “It is amazing that in their short time here as students, they’re leaving a legacy in Bloomington that will last forever.”
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