Following is the speech Whitney A. gave during her home dedication. Whitney’s home is the 16th and final home built for phase one of Nevada County Habitat’s Heritage Oaks neighborhood development. Her speech captures the heart of how our homeowners and all of us at Nevada County Habitat feel about our mission.

“To start I am certainly not one to live in the past, but I cannot deny that these past seven years have seen the hardest difficulties of my entire life…but the past four years of coming to find Habitat has led to the turning point for me and my children.

“In my original letter to Habitat I wrote that Habitat was a light at the end of my tunnel. Now, years later, there is absolutely no truer way to word it. The fact that the high number of applications (to become a Habitat homeowner) received by Nevada County Habitat after every introductory meeting is a testament to how bad of a need this (access to affordable housing) is in so many people’s lives. No matter how bad the odds though, sometimes all you need is a chance in your heart. A probability and a ‘what if?’

“What I have seen in these years with Habitat still never stops amazing me. Working with people whose only motivation is wanting to help is something rare to find today. Working alongside these people is a privilege I will cherish in my heart forever. Looking now at it (her new home), being able to live here, being able to join this neighborhood with people that have had to go through the same process, fight the same odds with the same patience, perseverance and persistence – to have us all here – is one of the most beautifully overwhelming feelings I’ve ever had.

“To know that I will be able to provide something better for my family and finally have made it this far is something I probably won’t believe for some time. In a life where I am struggling to provide every need for my children, I’m now able to provide something I never thought possible: a home of our own! I honestly never thought this would be possible.

“But, because of Habitat, my hoping for, my working towards, my light at the end of a dark tunnel is finally my here and now. I am joyful and grateful.”


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