Cara Storer applied for Habitat's homeownership program in 2022 because she wants a home for herself and her six-year-old daughter Evelyn. She lives with her parents because renting is too expensive, and she cannot receive assistance because her income is too high.
Cara learned about Habitat's homeownership program through a family friend who encouraged her to apply. She also went to church with a Habitat partner family and understood the program better by watching them go through the process.
Cara teaches Science and Biology in the Elkhart Community Schools. Not surprisingly, Cara said owning a home will allow her to teach her daughter about budgeting money, caring for a home, and self-sufficiency. She is also excited that Evelyn will have a yard to play in, and together they can learn how to tend a garden.
When asked what an affordable mortgage would mean to her, she said, "Without Habitat's 0% interest mortgage, I would be paying a high-interest mortgage rate as a first-time buyer and middle-class earner. This mortgage will allow me to save for repairs and improvements to my home. Logistically, it's a smart move."
Her favorite experience with Habitat has been working alongside Habitat volunteers. She had the opportunity to work with Elkhart Community Schools JAG program and the football players, and she enjoyed reconnecting with the students, their parents, and the community. "I felt more connected than I had realized. Volunteering instilled a sense of community, I loved seeing students engaged and giving back too."