Twelve years ago, Corbin and his family moved into a Habitat home when he was four years old. Here’s what we learned about his experience.
How did you feel when your family was building a home with Habitat?
I remember really liking the “job-workers” when I was little because they’d always let me have a donut. That’s what I used to call the job site volunteers, job-workers. When they were building our house, I remember going to Robinson’s gas station and getting them coffee. That’s one of the things my mom did to help. The construction volunteers always let me go into the houses when they were done so I could see them. I really enjoyed that.
What was it like to move into your new house?
I wanted the room in the front of the house to look out the window to watch people building stuff. I liked that it was our own house instead of the apartment. I remember the neighbors moving in at the same time as us. The kids weren’t really my age, but I do remember that the son got me into collecting sports cards. I also remember Chuck, he taught all the kids how to build birdhouses and then gave them to us.
Did anything in your life (school, commute, where you played) change after moving to your home? If so, what changed? Were these changes significant for you?
When we moved it made my homeschooling easier and I had more space. I remember we had a fence, and I was excited when my dad did the digging to put in the irrigation for the lawn, it was fun with the tunnels and watching my dad do the work. I also remember playing out in the yard with my little brother, he’d be in the middle on a blanket, and I’d run circles around him. Just having your own house that we can live in is nice. I can paint the walls or rearrange stuff. We have room for our things. If we lived in an apartment, we wouldn’t be able to have these things, or it wouldn’t be as easy.
What’s your favorite thing about your house? Has this changed as you’ve grown up?
We’ve been in our home for 12 years. My favorite part is my room and also the garage where I can keep my things like chainsaws, workout equipment, and bikes. And the backyard. I built a lending library together with Carl, a Habitat volunteer, a few years ago for an 8th-grade project. He helped me build it. We built it with waterproofing and shingles, it was a little over the top, but it was fun, I got to design it, and I made it to be just like a house.
As a child of homeowners, do you think homeownership is important? Why or why not?
I always knew that they owned the place because they had to pay the mortgage every month and I would go in with them.
When you own a home, you make changes to it and do what you want to it, make it your own. The backyard is really nice too, my parents did it like a Zen Garden, and it’s really peaceful in the spring, especially the Japanese maple. I know for my parents that having a Habitat home was very great because they wouldn’t have been able to buy it on their own but all the volunteers were able to build our home so I could grow up in it. I helped build some of the houses when I was old enough to be on-site. I’d eat lunch and go over for a couple of hours and help the volunteers.
Habitat gave me the capability to do things. I don’t have to worry, and I’m not being limited by space or place.
As you move forward in life what are your goals?
When I grow up, I’m leaning towards law enforcement, but I can’t go to the academy until I’m around 21. Most people I’ve talked to like it; they say it’s a good job. When I Graduate high school, I’ll be 18 so I have to figure out what to do during that time. I might go into forestry; I’m trying to get a job with them now.